Synthesis Report of IPCC AR6

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    In Context

    • The fourth and final installment of the sixth assessment report (AR6) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was released.
      • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is an intergovernmental body of the United Nations responsible for advancing knowledge on human-induced climate change.
      • It was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

    About

    • The report highlighted the Climate change that is a threat to human well-being and planetary health and there is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.
    • The report finds that it is likely that warming will exceed 1.5°C during the 21st century, despite progress in climate mitigation policies and legislation.
    • The report also highlights the economic imperative for taking action, finding that the global economic benefit of limiting global warming to 2°C exceeds the cost of mitigation in most assessed literature.
    • The report demonstrates an undeniable scientific consensus about the urgency of the climate crisis, and the irreversible harm that will occur if warming surpasses 1.5°C, even temporarily.
    • The report evaluates the physical science basis of climate change, impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.

    Key Takeaways from the Report

    • GreenHouse Gas(GHG) emissions will lead to increasing global warming in the near term, and it’s likely this will reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2035.
    • The world is currently at around 1.1°C of warming, and current climate policies are projected to increase global warming by 3.2°C by 2100.
    • The IPCC has “very high confidence” that the risks and adverse impacts from climate change will escalate with increasing global warming.
    • To keep within the 1.5°C limit, emissions need to be reduced by at least 43% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels and at least 60% by 2035.
    • Losses and damages will disproportionately affect the poorest and most vulnerable populations, particularly those in Africa and least-developed countries, creating more poverty.
    • Tracked climate finance for mitigation falls short of the levels needed to limit warming to below 2°C or to 1.5°C across all sectors and regions.
    • Public and private finance flows for fossil fuels are still greater than those for climate adaptation and mitigation.
    • Prioritizing equity, social justice, inclusion, and just transition processes would enable ambitious climate mitigation actions and climate-resilient development.

    What is a Climate emergency?

    • Climate emergency refers to the urgent and immediate need to take action to address the escalating threats posed by the changing climate.
    • This is based on overwhelming scientific evidence that human activities, particularly the burning of fossil fuels, are driving global temperatures to unprecedented levels.
    • These have led to catastrophic consequences such as extreme weather events, sea level rise, loss of biodiversity, and widespread human suffering.
    • The need for climate emergency action is urgent as there is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to limit global warming to 1.5°C and avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.

    Need for Climate Change strategies:

    • Avoiding Catastrophic Climate Change Impacts: Implementing climate change strategies is critical to avoiding catastrophic impacts, such as mass extinctions, widespread crop failures, and irreversible damage to ecosystems.
    • Protecting Public Health: Climate change strategies, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting clean energy, can help to protect public health.
    • Economic Benefits: Implementing climate change strategies can also bring significant economic benefits, including job creation, increased energy efficiency, and reduced energy costs.
    • Mitigating Social Inequities: Climate change disproportionately affects vulnerable populations and so change strategies can help to mitigate social inequities and ensure access to a safe and healthy environment.
    • International Cooperation: Addressing climate change requires international cooperation and collaboration to build stronger relationships between countries, promote innovation and technology transfer, and build a more sustainable and resilient global economy.

    key challenges:

    • Political Will:  Major countries have failed to implement climate policies, especially in countries that are heavily reliant on fossil fuels or have powerful industries that are resistant to change.
    • Technological Innovation: Addressing climate change will require significant innovation in technology, clean energy and carbon capture and storage which will require significant investment, research, and development.
    • Financing: Implementing climate change solutions will require significant financial resources, both in terms of public and private sector investment which can make it difficult to implement effective policies.
    • Public Awareness: Raising public awareness and building support for climate action is critical to creating the political will needed to implement effective policies.
    • International Cooperation: Getting countries to agree on common goals and strategies can be challenging, particularly when countries have different priorities and interests.

    Way ahead:

    • The IPCC’s report underscores the urgency of taking more ambitious action to ensure a sustainable future for all.
    • The report warns that beyond 2030, it may be impossible to prevent the earth from heating 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels if significant action to cut emissions is not taken.
    • Overall, urgent and decisive action on climate emergency is critical to ensure a liveable future for all, and to prevent irreversible and catastrophic consequences for the planet and future generations.
    • Thus, implementing climate change strategies is critical for protecting the environment, public health, and economic prosperity which requires a collective effort from governments, businesses, and individuals to ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.

    Source: TH