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UC academic to write Global Warming Special Report for UN

UC academic to write Global Warming Special Report for UN


University of Canterbury (UC) Associate Professor Bronwyn Hayward is the only New Zealander among the world experts appointed by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change (IPCC) to prepare the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C.

In Geneva, Switzerland, yesterday, the IPCC named the team of 86 experts from 39 countries that will author the investigation on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the impact of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.

The Special Report, which is due to be published in 2018, was commissioned by the Paris agreement COP21 in 2015. It will be a robust scientific report into ways to arrest global warming levels by assessing research and highlighting policy options available to support the achievement of a climate safe, equitable and sustainable world.

Head of UC’s Department of Political Science and International Relations and director of the Sustainable Citizenship and Civic Imagination: Hei Puāwaitanga research group, Assoc Prof Hayward will be using her expertise in the field of sustainable development, poverty eradication, and reducing inequalities.

“We need interdisciplinary thinking to address complex serious problems, and it is heartening to see recognition for the way Arts and Humanities can also assist us in tackling some of our world’s greatest challenges,” she says.

While Assoc Prof Hayward is the only New Zealander on this IPCC special report team, she says other New Zealanders are expected to be nominated to write later reports.

Professor Ian Wright, UC Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), observed that an international perspective and community engagement are key drivers for the future of the institution.

“This type of activity, where UC academic expertise is being used to underpin mitigation strategies to a critical global issue, underlines the fact that the University of Canterbury is engaging with local, regional, national and international communities, including business.”

What is the IPCC?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was set up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly, to provide policymakers with regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation.


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