28 February 2022 | IPCC

Climate change: a threat to human wellbeing and health of the planet.

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. The report of IPCC, Working Group II, ‘Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability’,  released today is a dire warning about the consequences of inaction showing that climate change is threat to our wellbeing and a healthy planet.

Urgent action required to deal with increasing risks and can secure our future.

This report states the interdependence of climate, biodiversity and people and integrates natural, social and economic sciences more strongly than earlier assessments Increased heatwaves, droughts and floods are already exceeding plants’ and animals’ tolerance thresholds, driving mass mortalities in species such as trees and corals. These weather extremes are occurring simultaneously, causing cascading impacts that are increasingly difficult to manage.

To avoid mounting loss of life, biodiversity and infrastructure, ambitious and accelerated action is required in adaptation and rapid mitigation, deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

Safeguarding and strengthening nature is key to securing a liveable planet.

Scientists point out that climate change interacts with unsustainable use of natural resources, growing urbanization, social inequalities, losses and damages from extreme events and a pandemic, jeopardizing future development. By restoring degraded ecosystems and effectively 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.

Tackling these challenges involves governments, the private sector and civil society working together to prioritize risk reduction, as well as equity and justice, in decision-making and investment in which adequate finance is essential. By bringing together scientific and technological know-how as well as Indigenous and local knowledge, solutions will be more effective.

Cities: Hotspots of impacts and risks, but also a crucial part of the solution.

The report provides a detailed assessment of climate change impacts, risks and adaptation in cities, where more than half the world’s population lives. Growing urbanization and climate change create complex risks, but cities 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.

A narrowing window for climate action

Climate Resilient Development is already challenging at current warming levels is a key finding. It will become more limited if global warming exceeds 1.5°C. This underlines the urgency for climate action, focusing on equity and justice. Adequate funding, technology transfer, political commitment, private sector action and partnerships lead to more effective climate change adaptation and emissions reductions. Any further delay in global climate action will miss a brief and rapidly closing window to secure a liveable future.

Source: IPCC, link to all AR6 Climate Change 2022 documents
Go directly to the Summary for Policymakers.

Read also:
Climate action for the private sector
Paper ‘Achieving Absolute zero emissions by certification