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    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to provide an authoritative international assessment of the scientific aspects of climate change, based on the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information published worldwide. The IPCCs periodic assessments of the causes, impacts and possible response strategies to climate change are the most comprehensive and up-to-date reports available on the subject, and form the standard reference for all concerned with climate change in academia, government and industry worldwide. This Synthesis Report is the fourth element of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2013/2014. More than 800 international experts assessed climate change in this Fifth Assessment Report. The three Working Group contributions are available from the Cambridge University Press: Climate Change 2013 The Physical Science Basis Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC(ISBN 9781107661820 paperback; ISBN 9781107057999 hardback)

    Climate Change 2014 Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC(Part A: ISBN 9781107641655 paperback; ISBN 9781107058071 hardback)(Part B: ISBN 9781107683860 paperback; ISBN 9781107058163 hardback)

    Climate Change 2014 Mitigation of Climate Change Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC(ISBN 9781107654815 paperback; ISBN 9781107058217 hardback)

    Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report is based on the assessments carried out by the three Working Groups of the IPCC and written by a dedicated Core Writing Team of authors. It provides an integrated assessment of climate change and addresses the following topics: Observed changes and their causes Future climate changes, risks and impacts Future pathways for adaptation, mitigation and sustainable development Adaptation and mitigation

  • Climate Change 2014Synthesis Report

    Edited by

    The Core Writing TeamSynthesis Report


    Rajendra K. PachauriChairman


    Leo MeyerHead, Technical Support Unit


    Core Writing Team Rajendra K. Pachauri (Chair), Myles R. Allen (United Kingdom), Vicente R. Barros (Argentina), John Broome (United Kingdom), Wolfgang

    Cramer (Germany/France), Renate Christ (Austria/WMO), John A. Church (Australia), Leon Clarke (USA), Qin Dahe (China), Purnamita

    Dasgupta (India), Navroz K. Dubash (India), Ottmar Edenhofer (Germany), Ismail Elgizouli (Sudan), Christopher B. Field (USA), Piers

    Forster (United Kingdom), Pierre Friedlingstein (United Kingdom/Belgium), Jan Fuglestvedt (Norway), Luis Gomez-Echeverri (Colombia),

    Stephane Hallegatte (France/World Bank), Gabriele Hegerl (United Kingdom/Germany), Mark Howden (Australia), Kejun Jiang (China),

    Blanca Jimenez Cisneros (Mexico/UNESCO), Vladimir Kattsov (Russian Federation), Hoesung Lee (Republic of Korea), Katharine J. Mach

    (USA), Jochem Marotzke (Germany), Michael D. Mastrandrea (USA), Leo Meyer (The Netherlands), Jan Minx (Germany), Yacob Mulugetta

    (Ethiopia), Karen OBrien (Norway), Michael Oppenheimer (USA), Joy J. Pereira (Malaysia), Ramn Pichs-Madruga (Cuba), Gian-Kasper

    Plattner (Switzerland), Hans-Otto Prtner (Germany), Scott B. Power (Australia), Benjamin Preston (USA), N.H. Ravindranath (India), Andy

    Reisinger (New Zealand), Keywan Riahi (Austria), Matilde Rusticucci (Argentina), Robert Scholes (South Africa), Kristin Seyboth (USA),

    Youba Sokona (Mali), Robert Stavins (USA), Thomas F. Stocker (Switzerland), Petra Tschakert (USA), Detlef van Vuuren (The Netherlands),

    Jean-Pascal van Ypersele (Belgium)

    Technical Support Unit for the Synthesis ReportLeo Meyer, Sander Brinkman, Line van Kesteren, Nomie Leprince-Ringuet, Fijke van Boxmeer

    Referencing this reportIPCC, 2014: Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Core Writing Team, R.K. Pachauri and L.A. Meyer (eds.)]. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, 151 pp.


    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2015

    First published 2015

    ISBN 978-92-9169-143-2

    This publication is identical to the report that was approved (Summary for Policymakers) and adopted (longer report) at the 40th session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on 1 November 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark, but with the inclusion of copy-edits and errata that have been corrected prior to this publication. These pre-publication errata are available at: http://www.ipcc.ch.

    The designations employed and the presentation of material on maps do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

    The mention of specific companies or products does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by IPCC in preference to others of a similar nature, which are not mentioned or advertised.

    The right of publication in print, electronic and any other form and in any language is reserved by the IPCC. Short extracts from this publication may be reproduced without authorization provided that complete source is clearly indicated. Editorial correspondence and requests to publish, reproduce or translate articles in part or in whole should be addressed to:

    IPCC c/o World Meteorological Organization (WMO)7bis, avenue de la Paix Tel.: +41 22 730 8208P.O. Box 2300 Fax: +41 22 730 8025CH 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland E-mail: IPCC-Sec@wmo.intwww.ipcc.ch

    Cover: Design by Laura Biagioni, IPCC Secretariat, WMO


    I - Folgefonna glacier on the high plateaus of Srfjorden, Norway (6003 N - 620 E). Yann Arthus-Bertrand / Altitude | www.yannarthusbertrand.org | www.goodplanet.org II - Planting of mangrove seedlings in Funafala, Funafuti Atoll, Tuvalu. David J. Wilson III - China, Shanghai, aerial view. Ocean/Corbis

  • Foreword, Preface and Dedication

  • v



    The Synthesis Report (SYR) distils and integrates the findings of the three Working Group contributions to the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the most comprehensive assessment of climate change undertaken thus far by the IPCC: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis; Cli-mate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability; and Clima-te Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change. The SYR also incorpo-rates the findings of two Special Reports on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (2011) and on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (2011).

    The SYR confirms that human influence on the climate system is clear and growing, with impacts observed across all continents and oceans. Many of the observed changes since the 1950s are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The IPCC is now 95 percent certain that humans are the main cause of current global warming. In addition, the SYR finds that the more human activities disrupt the climate, the greater the risks of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems, and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system. The SYR highlights that we have the means to limit climate change and its risks, with many solutions that allow for continued economic and human development. However, stabilizing temperature increase to below 2C relative to pre-industrial levels will require an urgent and fundamental departure from business as usual. Moreover, the longer we wait to take action, the more it will cost and the greater the technologi-cal, economic, social and institutional challenges we will face.

    These and the other findings of the SYR have undoubtedly and consi-derably enhanced our understanding of some of the most critical issues in relation to climate change: the role of greenhouse gas emissions; the severity of potential risks and impacts, especially for the least develo-ped countries and vulnerable communities, given their limited ability to cope; and the options available to us and their underlying require-ments to ensure that the effects of climate change remain manageable. As such, the SYR calls for the urgent attention of both policymakers and citizens of the world to tackle this challenge.

    The timing of the SYR, which was released on 2nd November 2014 in Copenhagen, was crucial. Policymakers met in December 2014 in Lima at the 20th Conference of Parties under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to prepare the groundwork for the 21st Session in 2015 in Paris, when they have been tasked with concluding a new agreement to deal with climate change. It is our hope that the scientific findings of the SYR will be the basis of their motivation to find the way to a global agreement which can keep cli-mate change to a manageable level, as the SYR gives us the knowledge to make informed choices, and enhances our vital understanding of the rationale for action and the serious implications of inaction. Ignorance can no longer be an excuse for tergiversation.

    As an intergovernmental body jointly established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environ-ment Programme (UNEP), the Intergovernmen

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