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News 28 February 2022

IPCC sounds alarm on impacts of climate change in latest report

A report issued today (Monday 28 February) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), ‘Climate Change 2022, Adaptation and Vulnerability’, has reiterated a stark warning on the impacts of accelerated climate change.

The second instalment of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, says that many of the impacts of global warming are now ‘irreversible’, with over 40% of the world’s people vulnerable to a changing climate.

“This report is a dire warning about the consequences of inaction,” said Hoesung Lee, chair of the IPCC. “It shows that climate change is a grave and mounting threat to our wellbeing and a healthy planet. Our actions today will shape how people adapt and nature responds to increasing climate risks.”

Today’s report builds on the first instalment, released last August 2021, which warned that governments around the world were not on track to meet the ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement. The second instalment considers the causes, impacts and solutions to climate change.

Mike Thornton, chief executive of Energy Saving Trust, commented:

“This report continues the sounding of the alarm on catastrophic climate change, showing the devastating impacts people and places around the world are already facing and the consequences of not taking immediate action. For every moment of inaction or delay, the scale of the challenge will grow – as will the environmental, social and financial cost.  

“COP26 raised hopes of faster global progress to tackle the climate emergency, but we now need policymakers around the world to turn pledges into bold action. Today’s report highlights the need for us to work together across borders and boundaries to build the resilience of communities. Support for those most impacted by climate change must be a priority if we are to ensure a response to the crisis that leaves nobody behind.

“The UK has some of the most ambitious climate pledges of any major economy, yet government still needs to show sustained leadership and demonstrate its commitment to take decisive action now. Government must provide certainty through investment and operational plans that give a clear roadmap for progress against the UK’s 2050 targets. This includes accelerating the shift to renewable energy sources and improving the energy efficiency of our homes. By providing certainty and confidence in its net zero agenda, the government will enable the investment and support the behavioural shifts required for a greener, resilient and safe future.”

Download the full IPCC report here or read the press release.

Last updated: 28 February 2022