IPCC event opens with dire warning

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has opened its virtual meeting to consider its latest report with a warning that the coming years will be crucial to the success or failure to limit global warming.

The meeting which will last until 1 April will examine the third instalment of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report. The Working Group III report focuses on the progress made in limiting global emissions and the available mitigation options across systems and sectors.

It will place mitigation in the context of sustainable development and will review the connection between short, medium, and long-term emission pathways.

It also includes new chapters on social aspects of mitigation, innovation, technology, cross-sectoral mitigation opportunities and links and trade-offs between mitigation and adaptation.

“The next few years will be crucial for the state of climate change in this century. This is why an updated assessment of mitigation is more important than ever,” said the chair of the IPCC, Hoesung Lee. “The Working Group III report will shed light on solutions to meet this challenge by providing us with the latest scientific findings of mitigation of climate change.”

“The clear message from the science community is that we need to raise the ambition level for mitigation. So far we are not on track to meet the 1.5 °C to 2 °C target,” said World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) secretary-general prof. Petteri Taalas.

The report prepared by IPCC’s Working Group III will build on the Working Group I and II contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report. The Working Group I showed that climate change is widespread, rapid and intensifying. The Working Group II contribution stressed that cumulative scientific evidence is unequivocal: climate change is a threat to human wellbeing and the health of the planet and how today’s actions will shape how people adapt and how nature responds to increasing climate risks.

“The IPCC assessments so far made it very clear that: human-induced climate change is widespread, rapid, and intensifying,” said Lee. “It is a threat to our well-being and all other species.  It is a threat to the health of our entire planet. Any further delay in concerted global action will miss a rapidly closing window to secure a liveable future.”

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