The latest IPCC report highlights the need for urgent action on climate change and the many options available to mitigate the global crisis.
There are multiple, feasible and effective options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to human-caused climate change, and they are available now, said scientists in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.
“Mainstreaming effective and equitable climate action will not only reduce losses and damages for nature and people, it will also provide wider benefits,” said IPCC chair Hoesung Lee. “This Synthesis Report underscores the urgency of taking more ambitious action and shows that, if we act now, we can still secure a liveable sustainable future for all.”
The report, approved during a week-long session in Interlaken, brings in to 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. Taking the right action now could result in the transformational change essential for a sustainable, equitable world.
“Climate justice is crucial because those who have contributed least to climate change are being disproportionately affected,” said Aditi Mukherji, one of the 93 authors of this Synthesis Report, the closing chapter of the Panel’s sixth assessment.
“Almost half of the world’s population lives in regions that are highly vulnerable to climate change. In the last decade, deaths from floods, droughts and storms were 15 times higher in highly vulnerable regions,” she added.
In this decade, accelerated action to adapt to climate change is essential to close the gap between existing adaptation and what is needed. Meanwhile, keeping warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels requires deep, rapid and sustained greenhouse gas emissions reductions in all sectors. Emissions should be decreasing by now and will need to be cut by almost half by 2030, if warming is to be limited to 1.5°C.
Technology may help to drive the change to a sustainable future, says Joseph Tabita, SVP, energy & commodities at Publicis Sapient.
“The IPCC climate report may not bring new information, but it reinforces the critical need for faster action on climate change,” he said. “To secure a cleaner, greener future for all, we must invest in renewable energy generation, energy storage technology, and sustainable transportation solutions. However, to achieve scale, we must also leverage digital technologies and government policy to ensure consumers and companies are changing their behaviours and buying patterns.
“We must prioritise sustainable supply chains for key climate-impacting industries like Energy, Agriculture, Mining, Transportation and Construction by implementing tools that track and optimise the impact of products and services throughout their lifecycle. In addition, we need to reassess how we live as a society and re-imagine living in Smart cities and the integration of IoT to enhance urban infrastructure, transportation, food supply, and resource management, ultimately reducing emissions and energy consumption.
“Finally, making the carbon economy work by tracking, reporting, and reducing carbon emissions is also essential. Organisations must implement carbon offsetting initiatives or carbon pricing mechanisms to encourage sustainable practices. Just as we tackled the CFC/Ozone crisis before, we do have the tools, technologies and reach to drive change globally – but we must act now and invest in these key areas to ensure a sustainable future.”
Read the full IPCC report here