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The White House
For Immediate Release

Statement: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Approves Physical Science Report


Following today's release by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of its Working Group Report on the Physical Science Basis of Climate Change, OSTP Director John P. Holdren released the following statement:

Today the United States joined other member nations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in approving the Fifth IPCC Working Group Report on the Physical Science Basis of Climate Change. 

The IPCC’s report is the result of more than five years of intensive work by hundreds of expert scientists from the United States and partner nations to comprehensively assess the current state of scientific knowledge about climate change. 

The report reflects a further strengthening of the already robust scientific consensus that the Earth’s climate is changing in ways not explainable by natural variability and that the primary cause is emission of heat-trapping substances by human activities. It also conveys scientists’ strengthened confidence in projections that the kinds of harm already being experienced from climate change will continue to worsen unless and until comprehensive and vigorous action to reduce emissions is undertaken worldwide.

I applaud the collaborative efforts of the many scientists who contributed to this report, which represents the most comprehensive and authoritative synthesis of scientific knowledge about global climate change ever generated.

Consistent with the Global Change Research Act of 1990—and across four Administrations—the Federal Government has supported gold-standard research to advance global-change science, including research to understand how humans are contributing to climate change; the impacts of climate change on people, communities, and ecosystems; and ways to address and minimize those impacts. U.S. Government investments enabled many of the peer-reviewed scientific findings that are at the core of the IPCC Working Group Report released today. In addition, scores of American scientists—including dozens of Federal researchers—served as contributing authors of the new report.

The U.S. Government is committed to continued participation in IPCC activities and to the rigorous use of scientific information about climate change to support sound decision making, as outlined in the Climate Action Plan released by the President in June. The Administration looks forward to collaborating with international partners to finalize the remaining reports making up the IPCC Fifth Assessment, all of which are expected to be released in 2014.