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Table of Contents

  • GS-3 Environment
    • IPCC meet in Switzerland: The significance, likely impact
  • Fact File
  • The Smart Cities Mission: With deadline looming, a status check

IPCC meet in Switzerland: The significance, likely impact

GS-3: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


This week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is convening in Switzerland to conclude the final report of its sixth assessment cycle. The report is anticipated to establish the tone for a series of climate change-related conversations that will take place over the next two weeks.


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

  • The IPCC is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change.
  • Created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  • The establishment of the IPCC was endorsed by UN General Assembly in 1988.
  • Objective: To provide governments at all levels with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies.
  • The IPCC provides regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation.
  • IPCC reports are also a key input into international climate change negotiations.
  • Though, The IPCC does not conduct its own research.
  • The IPCC currently has 195 members.
  • The IPCC is an organization of governments that are members of the United Nations or WMO.

IPCC Reports

  • Since 1988, the IPCC has had five assessment cycles and delivered five Assessment Reports, the most comprehensive scientific reports about climate change produced worldwide.
  • It has also produced a range of Methodology Reports, Special Reports and Technical Papers, in response to requests for information on specific scientific and technical matters from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), governments and international organizations.

Structure of IPCC

  • The IPCC brings together experts from all around the world.
  • Representatives of IPCC member governments meet one or more times a year in Plenary Sessions of the Panel.
  • They elect a Bureau of scientists for the duration of an assessment cycle.
  • Governments and Observer Organizations nominate, and Bureau members select experts to prepare IPCC reports.
  • They are supported by the IPCC Secretariat and the Technical Support Units of the Working Groups and Task Force.

Gender Policy and Implementation Plan

  • During the 52nd Session of the IPCC in February 2020, the Panel approved the Gender Policy and Implementation Plan.
  • The IPCC Gender Policy aims to –
  • Enhance gender equality in IPCC processes
  • Promote a gender-inclusive environment
  • Raise awareness of gender-related issues through training and guidance


Synthesis Report

  • The IPCC is preparing to complete the Synthesis Report, which will integrate the results of the five reports it has published during the sixth assessment cycle since 2018.
  • The Synthesis Report aims to tackle a broad range of climate change-related policy questions in a non-prescriptive manner, consistent with all IPCC publications.
  • As part of its sixth assessment cycle, so far, the IPCC released three comprehensive reports, which includes –
  1. A report on scientific evidence for climate change,
  2. A report on impacts and vulnerabilities, and
  3. A report exploring mitigation options.

Key Findings of these reports

  • Climate science is well established, and its impacts are already visible.
  • The IPCC has published three comprehensive reports on climate change, as well as two special reports on the feasibility of keeping global temperature rise within the 1.5-degree Celsius limit and the connections between land, ocean, and cryosphere.
  • Together, these reports form the most comprehensive understanding of the earth's climate system, the changes it is undergoing, the repercussions of these changes, and the actions that should be taken to avoid the worst impacts.
  • The finalization of the Synthesis Report is unlikely to be a straightforward exercise due to the complexity of condensing the voluminous information contained in the earlier reports and accommodating the concerns of governments and civil society groups.
  • The Synthesis Report is expected to emphasize meeting the 1.5-degree Celsius threshold as the main global goal, unlike the Paris Agreement, which seeks to restrict temperature rise to below 2 degree Celsius.
  • Average annual temperatures have already gone above 1.2 degree Celsius from pre-industrial times, and a breach of the 1.5-degree Celsius threshold, even if temporary, is a real possibility in just the next five years.


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Fact File

The Smart Cities Mission: With deadline looming, a status check

  • The government has urged 20 cities with the poorest performance in completing projects under the Smart Cities Mission to improve, as the deadline of June 2023 for completion approaches.

Smart City Mission

  • The union the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry launched the Smart Cities Mission on June 25, 2015.
  • Objective: To promote cities that provide core infrastructure, clean and sustainable environment and give a decent quality of life to their citizens through the application of ‘smart solutions’.
  • Aim: To drive economic growth and improve quality of life through comprehensive work on social, economic, physical and institutional pillars of the city.
  • The focus is on sustainable and inclusive development by creation of replicable models which act as lighthouses to other aspiring cities. 
  • Six Fundamental Principles on which the concept of Smart Cities is based are:

  • From January 2016 to June 2018, the Ministry selected 100 cities for the Mission over five rounds.
  • The projects were initially supposed to be completed within five years of the selection of the city.
  • In 2021, the Ministry extended the deadline of all cities to June 2023, which was previously the deadline for Shillong alone.
  • Funding –
  • The Mission is operated as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
  • Central Government will give financial support to the extent of Rs. 48,000 crores over 5 years i.e. on an average Rs.100 crore per city per year.  
  • An equal amount on a matching basis is to be provided by the State/ULB.  Additional resources are to be raised through convergence, from ULBs’ own funds, grants under Finance Commission, innovative finance mechanisms such as Municipal Bonds, other government programs and borrowings.


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