WCRP at SBSTA50 2019

In brief: Detlef Stammer, chair of the WCRP Joint Scientific Committee (JSC), and WCRP Joint Planning Staff (JPS) member Boram Lee provided input at the 50th Session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). SBSTA-50 was held in Bonn, Germany, from 17 to 27 June 2019, and included several statements and poster presentations by the WCRP Community, informing SBSTA of relevant research activities and emerging science issues.

The Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) met for its 50th Session in Bonn, Germany, from 17 to 27 June 2019. As in preceding years, WCRP representatives were present to inform on latest developments from the international research community. Integrated into SBSTA-50, the 11th edition of a dedicated Research Dialogue was held on Thursday 20 June, focusing on a wide array of relevant scientific activities.

WCRP JPS member Boram Lee addressing SBSTA-50 attendants
WCRP JPS member Boram Lee addressing SBSTA-50 attendants.
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth

WCRP’s statement at the opening SBSTA plenary highlighted the crucial role of WCRP’s Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) in supporting IPCC Assessments and other policy-relevant processes. It showcased some of WCRP’s current projects as well as vision, for example around extreme events and in context of WCRP’s recently published Strategic Plan 2019-2028. Stressing the relevance of linking research and action, WCRP’s statement underlined the need for continued support to fundamental climate science.

Detlef Stammer, chair of the WCRP Joint Scientific Committee (JSC), additionally addressed participants of a customary informal meeting with the SBSTA chair on 21 June. There he presented further details on the transformation WCRP is currently undergoing through formulation of its 2019-2028 Strategic Plan and related initiatives, and also commented on the climate information value chain as well as the collaborations that it requires.

During the 11th Research Dialogue of SBSTA-50, WCRP presented four posters which each expanded on one of the themes mentioned in its statement to SBSTA. In addition, WCRP had contributed to 5 posters presented jointly with its partners, namely IPCC, CitiesIPCC, UNECE, Future Earth, IRDR, PAGES, and SCAR. An opening presentation by WCRP JPS member Boram Lee emphasized the critical importance of fundamental research in the context of science- and evidence-based decision making. All posters and the WCRP opening presentation are available from the Research Dialogue's website.

Photo of poster session at UNFCCC SBSTA-50 2019
Poster session at 11th Research Day of UNFCCC SBSTA-50.
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth

In general, the 2019 Research Dialogue was centered around the following four themes:

  1. Transformation of energy and other sectoral systems to achieve the purpose and long-term goals of the Paris Agreement
  2. Transformative adaptation and climate resilient development
  3. Changing levels of risk and the attribution of extreme climate events and impacts to climate change
  4. Role of the ocean in the climate system

SBSTA in turn urged UNFCCC Parties to enhance the development of climate services, working together with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO, one of WCRP's co-sponsors), the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS), the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), and WCRP.

As soon as finalized, the full SBSTA-50 report will be available on the session website. The preparatory information note by the SBSTA chair is available from the SBSTA site as well.

WCRP highly values the Research Dialogue as an important and helpful forum to facilitate and enhance exchange between SBSTA and the science community. WCRP's Joint Planning Staff thank all community members who directly or indirectly contributed to the WCRP presentations at SBSTA-50.

The WCRP news archives hold overviews over its contributions to SBSTA-48 and to SBSTA-46.