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Monday, October 2, 2023

Campaigners set expectations as govts prepare to approve IPCC report on climate impacts

The forthcoming IPCC report on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, the second report under the Sixth Assessment Cycle of the IPCC, is expected to lay out in stark detail the extent to which climate change is destroying people’s lives, livelihoods and well-being and damaging ecosystems and biodiversity.

Hoesung Lee
Hoesung Lee, IPCC chair

The formal approval process by governments on the Summary for Policymakers will be held from February 14 to 25, 2022, with the full report to be released on February 28.

Civil society representatives warn governments that the findings from the report will be hard to ignore and urgent funding for adaptation and loss and damage is critical.

Dr Stephen Cornelius, Global Lead for IPCC, WWF, said: “The upcoming climate report from the IPCC is expected to lay bare the devastating impacts that delayed action and weak implementation of countries’ climate promises are having on people and nature. Over the past year we’ve seen more examples of the ruin to lives and livelihoods caused by more frequent extreme events, from heatwaves to floods and wildfires.

“This offers a small glimpse of what a warmer world brings. We know that to help communities and ecosystems now and in the years to come, governments need to invest more to build climate resilience and to slash polluting carbon emissions to give adaptation a fighting chance.”

Harjeet Singh, Senior Adviser, Climate Action Network International, said: “As governments prepare to formally approve the IPCC report on climate impacts and vulnerability, what must weigh on their minds is the immense responsibility and duty they have to accept the science and enact urgent measures to prevent more human suffering and ecological devastation from climate change.

“This report will be a foundational reference point on the latest science on climate impacts. It must galvanise the political will from rich countries to substantially increase their funding for adaptation, to help those least resourced to cope with rising impacts, and to finally set up a loss and damage finance facility this year which is a long-standing demand from almost 140 developing countries representing over 5 billion people from the global South.”

Lien Vandamme, Senior Campaigner, Centre for International Environmental Law (CIEL), said: “Governments have repeatedly failed the countries least responsible and most impacted by the climate emergency. The IPCC report is expected to confirm that irreversible damage not only to natural ecosystems but also to communities and their human rights is already underway and will accelerate to unprecedented levels if global temperatures continue to rise. This report should be (yet another) wake-up call for leaders to finally summon the courage to make strong decisions and deliver on finance for loss and damage while phasing fossil-fuels.”

Teresa Anderson, Climate Justice Lead, ActionAid International, said: “The IPCC’s horrifying evidence of escalating climate impacts is set to show a nightmare painted in the dry language of science.

“ActionAid’s emergency teams are supporting families whose homes were swept away by Storm Ana’s heavy rains in Southern Africa, and communities in Somaliland and Afghanistan where severe drought and conflict are causing escalating hunger and malnutrition crises. Women and girls are on the frontlines of these crises and at greater risk of gender-based violence.

“But climate vulnerable communities are not yet getting the support they urgently need, to cope with a crisis they did not cause.

“Climate negotiations at this year’s COP27 in Egypt must finally deliver a Loss and Damage funding facility to support those who are being hardest hit by climate impacts.”

Sven Harmeling, Global Policy Lead, CARE International, said: “As scientists and governments approach the finalisation of this latest state-of-the-art report on the impacts of the climate crisis, we expect the results to document what hundreds of millions of people already know, especially in the global South.
The climate crisis is here today, and it is already making many people suffer and lose their livelihoods, in particular women and girls. Ramping up climate adaptation everywhere has to be an indispensable element of every government’s national plan, and the IPCC report will hopefully provide advice on what has worked best, while also reflecting the limits of adaptation, today and tomorrow.

“As a matter of climate justice, the report must also drive home the need to close the enormous climate finance gap so the most vulnerable can prepare for and deal with the unavoidable and deeply damaging impacts of climate change. This cannot be watered down for the sake of political compromise.”

Rachel Cleetus, Policy Director and Lead Economist for the Climate and Energy Programme, Union of Concerned Scientists, said: “The forthcoming IPCC report will confirm what we already know about the crushing toll of heatwaves, drought, floods, storms, wildfires and ocean acidification for people and critical ecosystems.

“Additionally, this comprehensive scientific assessment will underscore how much worse the climate crisis is likely to get if we fail to take bold global action. The onus now is firmly on policymakers, especially those in richer countries, to take responsibility for the loss and damage already occurring in climate-vulnerable nations and to galvanise the transformative policies and investments needed to secure a safe and just future for all.

“Within this make-or-break decade, sharp cuts in heat-trapping emissions and robust investments in adaptation are necessary for advancing climate resilience in communities around the world.”

Romain Ioualalen, Global Policy Lead, Oil Change International, said: This new report by the IPCC will confirm that the accelerating climate crisis is creating devastating impacts for millions around the world. These impacts will only get worse unless governments take drastic measures to address the root cause of this crisis: our continued reliance on fossil fuels.

“Limiting warming to 1.5°C, which will already lock in catastrophic impacts in many parts of the world, requires immediately ending the expansion of fossil fuel production. Rich countries need to not only compensate countries for the loss and damage they are incurring because of climate impacts, but they also need to lead the way in planning a rapid phase out of oil and gas production and supporting clean energy access around the world.”

Taylor Dimsdale, Risk and Resilience Program Director at E3G, said: “Across Europe and around the world the climate crisis is escalating, and impacting people’s daily lives more and more. But let’s not be cynical: it’s also an unequal crisis, at a time of worsening inequalities.

“Everywhere climate impacts are hitting vulnerable people hardest, particularly in the Global South. The IPCC report will demonstrate this with the latest science available and yes, we all need to adapt to this new reality, but rich countries need to support poorer ones, who have contributed the least to cause this emergency we are in.”

Chiara Martinelli, Director, Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, said: “Loss and damage is not an abstract issue for the future. It is affecting 1.7 billion globally and will increase significantly in the years to come. The costs, whether economic or human, are already substantial and will only escalate, sparing no country. Developed countries must provide the practical support that builds upon existing financial and technical tools, while exploring innovative financing options that meet the needs of people on the frontline of climate change’s impacts.

“The upcoming IPCC report will show once again how urgent action is needed. Extreme weather events and the risk of breaching climate tipping points are increasing. The climate crisis is a human global crisis – but there is still time to act. Significant adaptation measures and investments have to be implemented, so communities around the world can improve their resilience and face the future.”

Eddy Pérez, International Climate Diplomacy Manager at Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat (CAN-Rac) Canada, said: “Around the world, we are experiencing more frequent and devastating climate impacts, hitting the most vulnerable the hardest. We expect this IPCC report to confirm the incredible danger of governments’ continued complacency towards fossil fuel development and unsustainable growth – and the toll it has taken on the world’s most vulnerable people.

“Those who are least responsible for the crisis, and have the fewest resources to prepare for and recover from disasters, are the ones bearing the brunt of floods, droughts, rising oceans, and extreme temperatures. This report must help us tackle the inequity of climate impacts and propel wealthy countries like Canada to finally commit adequate support to redress climate injustice: for adaptation, to build resilience, and for losses and damages, to compensate people for destruction of their homes, health, and livelihoods.”

Kaisa Kosonen, Climate Expert, Greenpeace Nordic, said: “I expect the IPCC report to make the realities of those in the most vulnerable situations impossible to ignore. Hard facts presented in the report will make the lack of action and commitment from high-emitters more evident, and the calls for justice even stronger.

“Climate impacts are already being felt around the world. To avoid the worst, we need urgent emission cuts and climate justice. We need investments in adaptation, building equity, compensating for and insuring against losses and damages and fostering resilient development pathways where everyone can participate. None of this will happen unless high-emitters start by curbing their emissions in line with the science.” 

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