Climate Tipping Points, Irreversibility and their Consequences for Society, Environment and Economies | Switzerland’s Proposal for an IPCC Special Report


Over the past decades, our scientific understanding of climate change has significantly grown. The IPCC reports have played a key role in synthetizing the best available science on the causes of climate change, its impacts, and possible pathways to adapt to and mitigate them.

Meanwhile, scientific information on large-scale singular events, tipping points and irreversibilities remains scattered. Tipping points in the climate system refer to thresholds that can occur as a consequence of human induced climate change, and that lead to changes are abrupt, high-impact, large-scale and often irreversible.

To respond to this need, the government of Switzerland considers it timely and pertinent to ask the IPCC to elaborate a Special Report on “Climate Tipping Points and their Implications for Habitability and Resources”, which will be prepared in the framework of the IPCC’s 7th Assessment Cycle, scheduled to start in 2023. All three IPCC Working Groups are expected to contribute to this Special Report, making it a comprehensive assessment of the topic. The timing of the approval of the report should take place around 2026 in order to serve as the basis for the second UNFCCC Global Stocktake from 2026 to 2028, and well before the second commitment period under the Paris Agreement in 2030.

This event organized with Switzerland within the framework of the Geneva Environment Network, will present the initiative to governments participating in the IPCC and Parties to the UNFCCC and other interested stakeholders. The goal of the event is to lay out as to how the crossing of tipping points in the climate systems may impact society, environment and economies alike, across the globe.

More information:


 Additional speaker to be confirmed.

  • Thomas STOCKER, Professor of Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics Institute, University of Bern & President of the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research
  • Sebastian KÖNIG, Chief Scientist, International Affairs Division, Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) & Focal Point for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Switzerland
  • Maria NEIRA, Director, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health, World Health Organization
  • Alexandra BILAK, Director, Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre
  • Eric USHER, Head, United Nations Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative
  • Jürg LUTERBACHER, Director, Science and Innovation Department & Chief Scientist, World Meteorological Organization
  • Dina IONESCO, Manager at United Nations Climate Secretariat (UNFCCC) | Moderator


To participate in-person at the International Environment House I, room 3, kindly register on the Eventbrite platform.

To participate online, kindly register on the Webex platform.