The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report shows that climate change is a grave and mounting threat to our wellbeing and a healthy planet, says Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC.
“This report is a dire warning about the consequences of inaction … Our actions today will shape how people adapt and nature responds to increasing climate risks.”
Scientists point out in the report that human-induced climate change is causing dangerous and widespread disruption in nature and affecting the lives of billions of people around the world, despite efforts to reduce the risks. And it’s the people and ecosystems least able to cope that are being hardest hit!
The report states however that there are options to adapt to a changing climate and provides new insights into nature’s potential not only to reduce climate risks but also to improve people’s lives.
“Healthy ecosystems are more resilient to climate change and provide life-critical services such as food and clean water,” said IPCC Working Group II Co-Chair Hans-Otto Pörtner. “By restoring degraded ecosystems and effectively and equitably conserving 30 to 50 per cent of Earth’s land, freshwater and ocean habitats, society can benefit from nature’s capacity to absorb and store carbon, and we can accelerate progress towards sustainable development, but adequate finance and political support are essential.”
Cities, the report adds, can also provide opportunities for climate action – green buildings, reliable supplies of clean water and renewable energy, and sustainable transport systems that connect urban and rural areas can all lead to a more inclusive, fairer society.”
“There is also increasing evidence of adaptation that has caused unintended consequences, for example destroying nature, putting peoples’ lives at risk or increasing greenhouse gas emissions. This can be avoided by involving everyone in planning, attention to equity and justice, and drawing on Indigenous and local knowledge.”
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash