IPCC releases report on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released its latest report entitled “Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” detailing an urgent need to accelerate and scale up adaptation measures. “The scientific evidence is unequivocal: climate change is a threat to human well-being and the health of the planet,” commented Hans-Otto Pörtner, co-chair of the IPCC working group that issued the report.  “Any further delay in concerted global action will miss the brief, rapidly closing window to secure a liveable future. This report offers solutions to the world.”

Authored by hundreds of the world’s top climate scientists, this latest addition to the IPCC sixth assessment is a call to action. It provides a deep dive on the intensifying impacts of climate change and future risks, particularly for resource-poor countries and marginalised communities. The report also details the way forward, pointing to the climate adaptation measures that are most feasible and effective while highlighting the communities and ecosystems that are most vulnerable. Very much in line with Climate Alliance’s perspectives and work over the last years, the report not only emphases the importance of boosting adaptation to the climate crisis but also of political commitment and follow-through across all levels of government.

Some key takeaways:

  1. Climate impacts are already more widespread and severe than expected. Impacts are magnified in cities where more than half the world’s population lives.
  2. Every small increase in warming will result in increased risks, often causing irreversible climate change impacts.
  3. Action on adaptation has increased but progress is uneven and we are not adapting fast enough.
  4. There are increasing gaps between adaptation action taken and what’s needed. These gaps are largest among lower income populations.
  5. Enhanced knowledge of impacts and risks improves responses.
  6. Feasible solutions already exist to reduce risks to people and nature. Nature offers significant untapped potential, for example in the use of nature-based approaches as well as green and blue spaces.
  7. There are limits to adaptation. Some impacts of climate change are already too severe to adapt to. The world needs urgent action now to address losses and damages.
  8. Inequity, conflict and development challenges heighten vulnerability to climate risks.  
  9. There are financial constraints too: current global financial flows are insufficient and most finance targets emission reductions rather than adaptation.

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