Latest IPCC Report: A ‘Brief and Rapidly Closing Window to Secure a Liveable Future’

Another disastrous consequence of the incomprehensible Russian invasion of Ukraine is to distract from an even greater threat to the very existence of life on our planet as we know it.

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) paints a troubling picture: Climate change is already impacting every corner of the world, and much more severe impacts are in store if we fail to halve greenhouse gas emissions this decade and immediately scale up adaptation.     

The report released on February 28, 2022, draws from 34,000 studies and involved 270 authors from 67 countries. It provides one of the most comprehensive examinations of the intensifying impacts of climate change and future risks, particularly for resource-poor countries and marginalised communities.

Some of the key findings of the report are:-
– Climate impacts are already more widespread and severe than expected.
– We are locked into even worse impacts from climate change in the near-term.
– Risks will escalate quickly with higher temperatures, often causing irreversible impacts of climate change.
– Inequity, conflict and development challenges heighten vulnerability to climate risks.
– Adaptation is crucial. Feasible solutions already exist, but more support must reach vulnerable communities.
– Some impacts of climate change are already too severe to adapt to. The world needs urgent action now to address losses and damages.

The science is unequivocal: Climate change endangers the well-being of people and the planet. Delayed action risks triggering impacts of climate change so catastrophic our world will become unrecognisable.

The next few years offer a narrow window to realise a sustainable, liveable future for all. Changing course will require immediate, ambitious and concerted efforts to slash emissions, build resilience, conserve ecosystems, and dramatically increase finance for adaptation and addressing loss and damage.

The COP27 summit, to be held in Egypt in November 2022, is a crucial opportunity for governments to make progress on all these fronts, and for developed countries to demonstrate their solidarity with vulnerable nations. Those of us who live in functioning democracies, particularly countries who are major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions have a particular responsibility to raise our voices to demand action.

A copy of the full report can be downloaded here.

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