UN climate report calls for immediate, drastic action

WION Web Team
New Delhi Updated: Feb 28, 2022, 11:06 PM(IST)

(Representative Image) Photograph:( AFP )

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UN has called for a drastic action on huge scale to tackle climate change challenges

United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned that humanity is not doing enough to limit the effects of climate change. IPCC noted that nearly half of the world population was already vulnerable to increasingly dangerous climate impacts.

Through its report, the IPCC has called for drastic action on huge scale. A third to a half of the planet needs to be conserved to ensure future food and freshwater supplies. Coastal cities need plans to keep people safe from storms and rising seas. And more.

"Adaptation saves lives," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said with the report's release. "As climate impacts worsen – and they will – scaling up investments will be essential for survival... Delay means death."

The 3,675-page report, the latest in a series by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), details the global consensus on climate science. This report, however, focuses on how nature and societies are being affected and what they can do to adapt.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine overshadowed the release of the report and drove the sole Ukrainian author to leave the proceedings to take shelter, although a government representative did attend its final approval by nearly 200 nations.

British, Spanish and Egyptian officials said the report was a call to action. U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry lamented that too little has been done to adapt to climate change and said the report offered a "blueprint for action".

"Denial and delay are not strategies, they are a recipe for disaster," Kerry said in a statement.

TOUGH CHOICES

On nearly all counts, the report makes clear that climate change is impacting the world far faster than scientists had anticipated. Meanwhile, countries have failed to rein in planet-warming carbon emissions, which continue to rise.

"Unchecked carbon pollution is forcing the world's most vulnerable on a frogmarch to destruction," Guterres said in a video address Monday. "The facts are undeniable. This abdication of leadership is criminal."

While governments need to drastically curb their emissions to prevent runaway global warming, they can also work to limit suffering by adapting to the conditions of a warmer world, the report says.

That will take a lot of money - to finance new technologies and institutional support. Cities can invest in cooling areas to help people through heatwaves. Coastal communities may need new infrastructure or to relocate altogether.

"The scale of transformation that we need is unprecedented in human history," said Zinta Zommers, a report review editor with the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

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