Draft IPCC Report on Climate Change

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    A draft report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns about impacts of climate change on the Earth and its species.

    About the Report

    • The 4,000-page draft report is scheduled for release in 2022.
    • It offers the most comprehensive rundown to date and predicts that up to 80 million more people than today will be at risk of hunger by 2050.
    • The basis for human health is sustained by three pillars: the food, access to water, and shelter. All three pillars are totally vulnerable and about to collapse.
    • The report offers a distressing vision of the decades to come: malnutrition, water insecurity and pestilence (fatal disease).
    • It recommends that making changes in policies and choices right now can limit these consequences.
    • Everyone at every stage has to treat the issue as a global issue to avoid massive displacement and migration.

    Major Concerns Highlighted

    • Malnutrition
      • It warns of the cascading impacts of crop failures, falling nutritional value of basic foods and soaring inflation.
      • If humans cannot get a handle on carbon emissions and rising temperatures, a child born today could be confronted with multiple climate-related health threats before turning 30.
      • It projects disruptions to the water cycle that will see rain-fed staple crops decline across sub-Saharan Africa.
        • Up to 40 per cent of rice-producing regions in India could become less suitable for farming the grain.
        • Global maize production has already declined 4 per cent since 1981 due to climate change and human-induced warming in West Africa has reduced millet and sorghum yields by up to 20 and 15 per cent respectively.
      • Even as rising temperatures affect the availability of key crops, nutritional value is declining.
        • The protein content of rice, wheat, barley and potatoes is expected to fall by between 6 and 14 per cent, putting close to 150 million more people at risk of protein deficiency.
      • Essential micronutrients are already lacking in many diets in poorer nations and will further decline as temperatures rise.
      • Extreme weather events will be more frequent and multiple crop failures will hit food production ever more regularly.
      • As climate change reduces yields and demand for biofuel crops and CO2-absorbing forests grows, food prices are projected to rise as much as a third in 2050.
        • It will bring an additional 183 million people in low-income households to the edge of chronic hunger.
      • Across Asia and Africa, 10 million more children than now will suffer from malnutrition and stunting by mid-century, despite greater socioeconomic development.
      • As with most climate impacts, the effects on human health will not be felt equally as the draft suggests that 80 percent of the population at risk of hunger live in Africa and Southeast Asia.
    • Water Insecurity
      • Access to safe water will be affected by climate change.
        • Just over half the world’s population is already water insecure and climate impacts will undoubtedly make that worse.
      • Research looking at water supply, agriculture and rising sea levels shows that between 30 million and 140 million people will likely be internally displaced in Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America by 2050.
      • Up to three quarters of heavily tapped groundwater supply (main source of potable water for 2.5 billion people) could also be disrupted by mid-century.
      • The rapid melting of mountain glaciers has already strongly affected the water cycle and can create or exacerbate tensions over water resources.
      • And while the economic cost of climate’s effect on water supply varies geographically, it is expected to shave half a percent off global GDP by 2050.
    • Pestilence
      • The warming planet expands habitable zones for mosquitoes and other disease-carrying species.
      • Half the world’s population could be exposed to vector-borne pathogens such as Dengue, Yellow Fever and Zika virus by mid-century.
      • Risks posed by Malaria and Lyme disease are set to rise and child deaths from Diarrhoea are on track to increase until at least mid-century, despite greater socioeconomic development in high-incidence countries.
      • Climate change will increase the burden of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
      • Diseases associated with poor air quality and exposure to Ozone (O3), such as lung and heart conditions, will rise substantially.
      • There will also be increased risks of food and water-related contamination” by marine toxins.
      • As with most climate-related impacts, these diseases will impact the world’s most vulnerable, as already seen in the case of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
        • The report shows how the pandemic, while boosting international cooperation, has revealed many nations’ vulnerability to future shocks, including those made inevitable by climate change.
        • Covid-19 has made the fault lines in the global health systems extremely visible. The effects and shocks of climate change will strain health systems even more, for a much longer period.z
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

    • It is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change.
    • It provides regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation.
    • It was created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP),
    • Objective: To provide governments at all levels with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies.
    • IPCC reports are also a key input into international climate change negotiations.
    • It currently has 195 members and participation is open to all member countries of the WMO and United Nations.
    • The IPCC is divided into three Working Groups and a Task Force:
      • Working Group I: It deals with The Physical Science Basis of Climate Change.
      • Working Group II: It deals with Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.
      • Working Group III: It deals with Mitigation of Climate Change.
      • Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories: Its main aim is to develop and refine a methodology for the calculation and reporting of national greenhouse gas emissions and removals.
    • Alongside the Working Groups and the Task Force, other Task Groups may be established by the Panel for a set time period to consider a specific topic or question.

    Major Global Efforts to Tackle Climate Change

    • The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was created in 1992 as the main forum for international action on climate change. 195 countries have joined the international agreement (known as a convention).
      • It holds negotiations focus on four key areas:
        • Mitigating (reducing) greenhouse gas emissions.
        • Adapting to climate change.
        • Reporting of national emissions.
        • Financing of climate action in developing countries.
      • It commits all signatory nations to formulate, implement, publish and update measures to prepare for the impacts of climate change, known as ‘adaptation’. 
      • In 2010, the Cancun Adaptation Framework was adopted and it was agreed that adaptation must be given the same priority as mitigation.
        • The framework calls for further action on adaptation including reducing vulnerability and increasing resilience to climate change in developing countries.
    • The Paris Agreement is a landmark agreement as it brings all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, for the first time.
      • It was adopted by 196 parties at Conference of Parties (COP) 21 in Paris, in December 2015 and entered into force in November 2016.
        • COP is the supreme decision-making body of the UNFCCC and all States that are Parties to the Convention are represented at the COP.
        • A key task for the COP is to review the national communications and emission inventories submitted by Parties. The COP meets every year, unless the Parties decide otherwise.
    • The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 calls for urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
      • It is intrinsically linked to all 16 of the other Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
    • Major G20 Environment Related Initiatives
    • Global Coral Reef Research and Development Accelerator Platform to accelerate scientific knowledge and technology development in support of coral reef survival, conservation, resilience, adaptation and restoration.
    • Circular Carbon Economy (CCE) Platform as a tool towards affordable, reliable, and secure energy and economic growth.

    India’s Initiatives for Tackling Climate Change

    • India has made remarkable commitments to tackle climate change and is on track to achieve its Paris Agreement targets.
    • India’s renewable energy capacity is the fourth largest in the world.
    • India has an ambitious target of achieving 450 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2030.
    • Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), announced in 2017 to pool best practices and resources from around the world for reshaping construction, transportation, energy, telecommunication and water.
    • India-France joint initiative of International Solar Alliance (ISA) with an aim to reduce carbon foot-print.
    • Various National Schemes like National Action Plan on Climate Change, National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), National Biofuel Policy, etc.

    Source: TH