IPCC report says climate change puts “billions of people in danger”

IPCC report climate change, IPCC UN
© Erin Donalson

The IPCC report, which took eight years to compile, finds that human activity is definitely responsible for climate change – putting “billions of people in danger”, according to UN chief António Guterres

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report has been highly anticipated across the world, as a decisive summary of all climate science available.

Secretary-General of the UN, António Guterres, said: “The evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions are choking our planet and placing billions of people in danger. Global heating is affecting every region on Earth, with many of the changes becoming irreversible.

“We must act decisively now to avert a climate catastrophe.”

“We must act decisively now to avert a climate catastrophe.”

The report comes from the UN’s panel on climate change, and involves over 700 scientists. It took eight years to compile, because it contains every available fact about the changing planet.

The world has been threatening to change irreversibly for a long time.

The IPCC deep-dive on climate change reveals that this prophesised time is now. Excessive fires and floods across the globe have created devastation, with homes and agriculture systems taking huge hits. The Amazon rainforest, once the world’s largest carbon sink, now produces more carbon than it absorbs. Heat is expected to keep rising at deadly levels in South Asia, where 60% of work is done outdoors. Biodiversity has been a learning curve for experts and scientists, with Indigenous peoples’ role in protecting nature only really emerging to public recognition in the last five years.

it could take 20-30 years for global temperatures to stabilise

The report finds that it could take 20-30 years for global temperatures to stabilise, even if carbon emission targets were met. The data suggests that unless there is an immense change in policy-implementation that creates meaningful decreases of greenhouse gases, globally limiting an ongoing rise in temperature “to close to 1.5°C or even 2°C will be beyond reach.”

The scientists link “human influence” as the reason for increases in every single measurement of climate change, from a change in rainfall patterns to the carbon absorption of forests to the melting of glaciers. However, the authors say that decisive action, especially in limiting carbon emissions – central to many of the crises unfolding across continents – can change the destination for humanity.

Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion and co-leader of The Green Party, tweeted that: “We’re in danger of going down in history as species that chose to monitor its own extinction rather than taking urgent steps to avert it.”


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