This synthesis report presents an up-to-date overview of a broad range of research relevant to climate change – including fundamental climate science, the impacts of a changing climate on society and environment, and the many tools and approaches available to deal effectively with the challenge of climate change. To bring the new knowledge since the last IPCC report together, an international scientific congress on climate change was held in Copenhagen from 10–12 March 2009.
The purpose of this report is to provide, for a broad range of audiences, an update of the newest understanding of climate change caused by human activities, the social and environmental implications of this change, and the options available for society to respond to the challenges posed by climate change. This understanding is communicated through six key messages:
- Climatic trends
- Social and environmental disruption
- Long-term strategy: global targets and timetables
- Equity dimensions
- Inaction is inexcusable
- Meeting the challenge