IPCC Report | Urgent Climate Action Can Secure a Liveable Future for All
Global News
article written by MRI
22.03.23 | 01:03

On 20 March 2023, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its AR6 Synthesis Report, which emphasizes the need for urgent action to mitigate the effects of climate change.

The AR6 Synthesis Report: Climate Change 2023 summarizes five years of reports on global temperature rises, fossil fuel emissions, and climate impacts. It highlights the impacts of human activity on nature and people, including an increase in extreme weather events and food and water insecurity. The report also emphasizes the importance of climate justice, as those who have contributed least to climate change are being disproportionately affected.


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IPCC Press Conference on 20 March 2023 – Climate Change 2023: Synthesis Report

The IPCC stresses that the solution lies in climate-resilient development, which involves integrating measures to adapt to climate change with actions to reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions in ways that provide wider benefits. For example, access to clean energy and technologies improves health, especially for women and children, while low-carbon electrification, walking, cycling, and public transport enhance air quality, improve health and employment opportunities, and deliver equity.

The report also emphasizes the importance of finance to climate investments to achieve global climate goals. Governments, investors, central banks, and financial regulators can all play their part in reducing barriers and increasing finance to achieve deep emissions reductions and climate resilience.

The IPCC warns that the choices made in the next few years will play a critical role in deciding our future and that of generations to come. Climate, ecosystems, and society are interconnected. Effective and equitable conservation of approximately 30-50% of the Earth’s land, freshwater, and ocean will help ensure a healthy planet. Urban areas also offer a global-scale opportunity for ambitious climate action that contributes to sustainable development.

As IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee said, “This Synthesis Report underscores the urgency of taking more ambitious action and shows that, if we act now, we can still secure a liveable sustainable future for all.”

What Does This Report Mean for Our Changing Mountains?

 Observed Changes and Impacts

“Climate change has caused substantial damages, and increasingly irreversible losses, in terrestrial, freshwater, cryospheric, and coastal and open ocean ecosystems (high confidence). … Impacts on some ecosystems are approaching irreversibility such as the impacts of hydrological changes resulting from the retreat of glaciers, or the changes in some mountain (medium confidence)”

Climate Change Impacts and Climate-Related Risks

“Cryosphere-related changes in floods, landslides, and water availability have the potential to lead to severe consequences for people, infrastructure, and the economy in most mountain regions (high confidence)”

Adaptation Options and their Limits in a Warmer World

“With additional global warming, limits to adaptation and losses and damages, strongly concentrated among vulnerable populations, will become increasingly difficult to avoid (high confidence). Above 1.5°C of global warming, limited freshwater resources pose potential hard adaptation limits for small islands and for regions dependent on glacier and snow melt (medium confidence). Above that level, ecosystems such as some warm-water coral reefs, coastal wetlands, rainforests, and polar and mountain ecosystems will have reached or surpassed hard adaptation limits and as a consequence, some Ecosystem-based Adaptation measures will also lose their effectiveness (high confidence).”

Overshoot: Exceeding a Warming Level and Returning

“Overshooting 1.5°C will result in irreversible adverse impacts on certain ecosystems with low resilience, such as polar, mountain, and coastal ecosystems, impacted by ice-sheet, glacier melt, or by accelerating and higher committed sea level rise. (high confidence)”

Benefits of Near-Term Action

“Deep, rapid and sustained mitigation and accelerated implementation of adaptation actions in this decade would reduce projected losses and damages for humans and ecosystems (very high confidence), and deliver many co-benefits, especially for air quality and health (high confidence).


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CLIMATE CHANGE 2023: Synthesis Trailer

Further Reading

This news was first published by the IPCC. You can find the original release on the IPCC website.

Cover image by Matt Palmer