“A dire warning about the consequences of inaction”: IPCC publishes climate report

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People and ecosystems least able to cope with human-induced climate change are being hardest hit, according to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

“This report is a dire warning about the consequences of inaction,” Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC commented on the report.

“It shows that climate change is a grave and mounting threat to our wellbeing and a healthy planet. Our actions today will shape how people adapt and nature responds to increasing climate risks.”

According to the report, the world faces unavoidable multiple climate hazards over the next two decades with global warming of 1.5°C (2.7°F).

Even temporarily exceeding this warming level is reported to result in additional severe impacts, some of which will be irreversible. Risks for society will increase, including to infrastructure and low-lying coastal settlements.

The scientists who have worked on the report point out that climate change interacts with global trends such as unsustainable use of natural resources, growing urbanization, social inequalities, losses and damages from extreme events and a pandemic, jeopardizing future development.

“Our assessment clearly shows that tackling all these different challenges involves everyone – governments, the private sector, civil society – working together to prioritize risk reduction, as well as equity and justice, in decision-making and investment,” IPCC Working Group II Co-Chair, Debra Roberts, added.

“In this way, different interests, values and world views can be reconciled. By bringing together scientific and technological know-how as well as Indigenous and local knowledge, solutions will be more effective.

“Failure to achieve climate resilient and sustainable development will result in a sub-optimal future for people and nature.”

The Summary for Policymakers of the IPCC Working Group II report, Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability examines the impacts of climate change on nature and people around the globe.

It explores future impacts at different levels of warming and the resulting risks and offers options to strengthen nature’s and society’s resilience to ongoing climate change, to fight hunger, poverty, and inequality.

The Working Group II report is the second instalment of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), which will be completed this year.

The ‘Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability’-report is available on the IPCC website.