The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emphasizes that urgent climate action is needed to secure a sustainable future for all.
Human activity is unequivocally causing global warming, wIth the largest share coming from fossil fuel combustion and industrial processes. The report highlights that limiting global warming to 1.5°C is an unprecedented challenge due to the continued increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
While there are multiple options available now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to human-caused climate change, the pace and scale of current plans and actions are insufficient to tackle the crisis.
Climate change is already affecting every region across the globe
Global warming has resulted in more frequent and more intense extreme weather events that have caused increasingly dangerous impacts on nature and people in every region of the world.
Every increment of warming results in rapidly escalating hazards.
More intense heatwaves, heavier rainfall, and other weather extremes further increase risks for human health and ecosystems. Climate-driven food and water insecurity is expected to increase with increased warming.
The report brings into sharp focus the losses and damages we are already experiencing and will continue into the future, hitting the most vulnerable people and ecosystems especially hard.
Climate justice is crucial because those who have contributed least to climate change are being disproportionately affected.
“Humanity is on thin ice — and that ice is melting fast. Our world needs climate action on all fronts — everything, everywhere, all at once.” — Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General
Deep, rapid, and sustained carbon emissions reduction is required
Accelerated action to adapt to climate change is essential to close the gap between existing adaptation and what is needed.
To keep warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels requires deep, rapid, and sustained greenhouse gas emissions reductions in all sectors.
According to the report, emissions should be decreasing by now and will need to be cut by almost half by 2030 if the global average temperature rise is to be limited to the dangerous threshold of 1.5°C.
Developing climate resilience
The solution lies in climate-resilient development. This involves integrating measures to adapt to climate change with actions to reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions in ways that provide wider benefits.
Examples of climate-resilient development include access to clean energy and technologies, low-carbon electrification, walking, cycling, and public transport, which enhance air quality, improve health, provide employment opportunities, and deliver equity.
Investing in climate solutions and policy measures to reduce carbon emissions
Increasing finance to climate investments is important to achieve global climate goals. Governments, through public funding and clear signals to investors, are key in reducing barriers.
Investors, central banks, and financial regulators can also play their part.
There are tried and tested policy measures that can work to achieve deep emissions reductions and climate resilience if they are scaled up and applied more widely. Political commitment, coordinated policies, international cooperation, ecosystem stewardship, and inclusive governance are all important for effective and equitable climate action.
Transformational changes are more likely to succeed where there is trust, where everyone works together to prioritize risk reduction, and where benefits and burdens are shared equitably.
We live in a diverse world in which everyone has different responsibilities and different opportunities to bring about change. Some can do a lot, while others will need support to help them manage the change.
Everyone can be part of the solution.Read the Full Report