A New Partnership with Indigenous Peoples? An Analysis of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Sixth Assessment Report
Indigenous Peoples have been emphatic: the climate crisis will not be solved by the same paradigm that caused it. Their advocacy, coupled with a growing acknowledgement of Indigenous knowledge systems' contributions to climate action and transformative change, has drawn international attention, including from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Nevertheless, many barriers to effective, rights-based recognition remain, reinforcing Indigenous Peoples' marginalisation in climate
... cience and politics. Based on a collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars, this article assesses how the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) recognises and promotes the role of Indigenous Peoples and their knowledge systems in climate governance. Through a content analysis of the Working Groups I, II and III Reports, we found a growing number of references to Indigenous Peoples and their knowledge systems. Despite this growth, we also found that the IPCC continues to reproduce a reductionist approach to Indigenous Peoples' knowledge and rights which risks promoting harmful stereotypes that increase inequity. Reversing this weakness requires a greater reflexivity and concrete actions to overcome the unequal structures that limit Indigenous Peoples' participation at all levels. Among these actions we propose: i) ensuring consistent references to Indigenous Peoples across all reports; ii) avoiding the characterization of Indigenous Peoples as vulnerable and focusing on embedding a strengths-based approach; iii) ensuring Indigenous knowledge systems are fully understood and applied ethically and equitably; and iii) including Indigenous Peoples, as authors and contributors, and their solutions in all proposed working topics. Combined, these actions will assist the IPCC in approving their partnership with Indigenous Peoples, including in preparation for the seventh assessment cycle.