In the most comprehensive, authoritative and scrutinised assessment of climate change ever produced, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has today offered its starkest warning yet about the challenges facing humanity. Not only does the IPCC show that climate change is real and that its impacts are happening faster than ever, but for the first time it lays out the true extent of human influence on the climate system. While previous estimates say human activity – primarily the burning of fossil fuels – is responsible for more than half of all warming, the latest report shows we are actually responsible for all warming since 1951.
But the main takeaway for decision makers is this: governments can no longer just be talking about emissions reductions, they need to work towards a complete phase out out of fossil fuel emissions globally. The IPCC makes it clear that emissions need to go to zero if the world is to keep global warming below the internationally agreed limit of 2DegC. In the words of experts and observers tracking the IPCC process: “The science is in and it’s game over for fossil fuels”. For the first time, the Fifth Assessment Report includes a strict carbon budget for governments, of which over two-thirds have already been used up. At current rates the world would burn through the rest in less than 30 years. For the best chance of avoiding severe levels of warming, governments will need to peak emissions, rapidly phase fossil fuels down to zero and transition to 100 percent renewable energy.
Such a transition is not only possible, but is economically viable, according to the IPCC. Rapid development of renewables since the body’s last Assessment Report in 2007 means that clean energy is cheaper and stronger than ever before, and bringing multiple societal benefits – including increased energy access, jobs and improved public health. Continuing down such a path and investing in renewable energy in the next few decades will also be cheaper than paying a rapidly growing bill for “severe, pervasive, and irreversible impacts.” Such cost savings would vastly outweigh the costs associated with the clean energy transition, says the IPCC.
Requested and endorsed by governments, the release of this report – which ends a five year process covering 30,000 pieces of evidence and involving over 2000 scientists – should act as a guide for governments working on a new global climate agreement which is due for sign off in Paris next December. Speaking at the launch press conference, IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri said the scientists were now “passing the baton to policymakers and the decision making community” to act on the report’s findings.
Also addressing reporters in Copenhagen, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that “the science has spoken, there is no ambiguity in the message. Leaders must act now, time is not on our side.” At the Secretary-General’s climate meeting in New York in September, government leaders put climate change back on the political agenda, while outside the UN hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets calling for more climate change as part of the Peoples’ Climate Marches. The people have spoken, businesses demand action, investors want long-term certainty, and IPCC scientists have set government’s a clear choice: “either put policies in place to achieve this essential shift, or they can spend the rest of their careers dealing with climate disaster after climate disaster.”
RT @theRE100 Going 100% renewable is on way to rapidly cut carbon emissions – vital to stop severe climate impacts http://gu.com/p/43x5g
- The world’s leading scientific body has confirmed that climate change is real, that human activities are responsible for all warming since 1951, and that impacts are happening faster than previously predicted. The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) offers the most comprehensive, authoritative and scrutinised assessment of climate science ever produced. It shows that as temperatures continue to rise, impacts including sea level rise, sea ice decline and ocean acidification are happening faster than anticipated and affecting every continent and the oceans.
- Adapting to climate change is vital, but adaptation alone will not adequately address the worsening climate impacts. The IPCC says climate change will cause severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems. It is already resulting in increased social and economic costs, hitting the most vulnerable countries and communities hardest. Climate impacts threaten many of life’s basics – water, food, shelter and security – and the worse the impacts, the harder it will be to adapt. Rapidly reducing emissions is vital to reducing this risk.
- Climate risks can be reduced, but only if governments aim for a complete phase out of fossil fuel pollution. Scientists say that it is possible to keep global warming below the internationally agreed threshold of 2DegC, but governments can only honour this commitment by sticking to a tight carbon budget. By 2011, the world had already used up two-thirds of this budget, and at current rates will burn through the rest in less than 30 years. For the best chance of avoiding severe levels of warming, governments will need to peak emissions, rapidly phase fossil fuels down to zero and transition to 100 percent renewable energy.
- The rapid development of renewables means clean technologies can power our society, drive the economy and give us cleaner air. Moving away from fossil fuel based energy to renewables will result in a wide range of benefits – including jobs and improved public health. The clean energy transition is inevitable, already underway and it is now up to government to put in place the enabling policies to speed up this transition. According to the IPCC, this will mean shifting $30 billion each year out of fossil fuels and ramping up annual investment in low carbon electricity to $147 billion and energy efficiency by $100 billion annually.
- We can go down the clean energy path on which economic growth is strong or the carbon pollution path on which growth is derailed by climate change. The IPCC shows that ambitious climate action would reduce annual consumption growth by just 0.06 percent – that’s 2.94 percent growth instead of 3 percent growth under business-as-usual scenarios. In real terms, however, the 2DegC transition would dramatically increase growth by avoiding the severe and pervasive impacts of climate change, while continuing down the conventional fossil-fuel path will be catastrophic. Investments in long-lived fossil fuel infrastructure will be difficult and costly to change, and the longer we delay, the more expensive addressing climate change will be.
- In New York, in September, government leaders put climate change back on the political agenda. Now the IPCC report provides them with a roadmap to a new global climate agreement which is due next December in Paris. One month after hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in New York and elsewhere around the world in an unprecedented call for government action to tackle climate change, government leaders know they can no longer ignore the will of the people and businesses for accelerated climate action and need to deliver if they don’t want to end up on the wrong side of history.
- Laying the foundations for success in Paris, governments are expected to pen a draft agreement this December at the UN climate talks in Lima, and follow up with national climate action plans by March. Those national commitments and the climate agreement in Paris will signal a collective decision by governments to get serious about speeding up the just transition of the global economy that is already underway. Positive momentum like this will also help with another huge challenge facing government leaders in 2015: to agree a to-do list for ending poverty worldwide – an impossible task without addressing climate change.
- The IPCC presents governments – that have ordered and endorsed this report – with a clear choice: invest in clean energy or spend the future dealing with climate disaster after climate disaster. The people have spoken, businesses are demanding action, investors want long-term certainty, and the science is clearer than ever. 2015 provides governments with a critical opportunity to show that the fossil fuel age is over, and a new era of renewable energy has begun.
Looking at the IPCC AR5 report in its entirety, it confirms and underlines what many scientists have been saying for some time: there is now extreme certainty – more than ever before in the history of climate science – that climate change is happening and that humans have caused the majority of it. In fact, the new Synthesis Report published in Copenhagen on 2 November makes it clear that all warming since 1951 is due to human activity. As global carbon emissions have reached record levels and keep rising, the AR5 report also confirms that climate change is already impacting all continents and the oceans, resulting in changes that are often unprecedented and could partly be – or soon become – irreversible.
With current warming of .85DegC compared to 1880 levels significant impacts of climate change are affecting communities worldwide. The atmosphere and oceans have warmed, sea levels have risen, and the amounts of snow and ice have diminished. If the world stays on its current path, the picture only becomes more grim. The AR5 report shows that the scientific understanding of future risks has been strengthened in recent years, and that escalating temperatures are expected to slow economic growth, erode food security and exacerbate social and economic inequalities.
According to the IPCC, using scenarios which roughly equate to continuing business-as-usual, global temperature rise will reach a range of 4DegC above pre-industrial times, which would be catastrophic for people and planet. The governments of the world have previously agreed on the need to limit global temperature rise to less than 2DegC above pre-industrial times, with many of the most vulnerable nations on Earth calling for a cap at 1.5DegC. The AR5 report doesn’t rule out the possibility to achieve this, but paints a picture of massive changes in how we power our economies in order to get there.
To this end, the IPCC has – for the first time – outlined a carbon budget. This budget states that for a two-thirds chance of keeping warming below the 2DegC threshold, the world will need to cap total emissions, since 1870, at 2900 gigatons. However, as of 2011, two-thirds of this budget had already been spent. Therefore, in order to keep global temperature rise below 2DegC by the year 2100, significant emissions reductions efforts will be required over the coming two decades (and accordingly, even more significant and even faster measures to stay below 1.5DegC).
Efforts of this magnitude are possible, but will require large scale changes in our current energy system – given that two-thirds of man-made emissions result from burning fossil fuels. The IPCC is quite clear that we will stand no chance of preventing catastrophic warming if we do not leave the majority of the world’s fossil fuel reserves where they are now: in the ground. Furthermore, the report shows that if we want to keep the emissions at a safer, stable low level we have to completely phase-out unabated oil, coal and gas use, with global (net) CO2 emissions peaking and then declining toward zero in the long term.
To replace fossil fuels, the IPCC says we will need to triple our use of zero and low carbon energy by 2025. With renewable energy having improved dramatically in performance and cost-efficiency in recent years, the AR5 report paints existing technologies such as wind and solar as increasingly attractive options, with even stronger future prospects. This is particularly the case if governments put in place stronger enabling policies, for example encouraging a switch in investments from dirty to clean energy, the elimination of perverse subsidies, and incentives to use less energy overall in buildings, transport and industry, which in turn can save money.
In fact, the IPCC lays out a stark choice for us: we can go down the clean energy path on which economic growth is strong, or we can take the carbon pollution path on which economic growth is derailed by climate change. In business-as-usual scenarios, consumption grows by 1.6 to 3 percent per year, not including the need to pay for the cost of worsening impacts. Ambitious mitigation would reduce this growth by only around 0.06 percentage points a year, i.e. 2.94 percent growth instead of 3 percent growth. The IPCC’s economic assessments of the cost of mitigation don’t even include the co-benefits of taking action – such as better public health and increased energy efficiency – or the cost savings which result from avoiding future impacts. Looking at the low costs, the co-benefits and the savings, it’s clear that climate mitigation is an economic no-brainer.
No surprise then that the IPCC also warns that delaying mitigation action now is a bad idea and implies higher costs of action later. But even if we don’t wait, the costs of action can still differ significantly, depending on which energy options we choose. In the context of zero and low carbon energy sources, for example, the report also references nuclear energy and carbon capture and storage (CCS), in addition to renewables. It points out, however, that nuclear is expensive and holds many risks, and that CCS is more theory than practice and has not been proven at scale – major roadblocks not faced by the booming and mature renewables industry.
The controversial topics of geoengineering and carbon removal are also discussed in the report, but with multiple caveats – including that they carry with them severe risks, come at a very high cost, and have not been proven at scale. The IPCC’s approach to such technologies reflects the fact that they are widely seen as a distraction when cheaper, safer and cleaner solutions such as renewable energies are available but haven’t been fully tapped yet. One particular technology receiving some attention in the report is Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS). BECCS is an essential part of some low-emission scenarios in the AR5 report, but it comes with drawbacks including high costs and the need to use arable land and water resources to produce bio-fuels.
- Fossil fuels should be ‘phased out by 2100’ says IPCC (BBC)
- Scientists say costs of avoiding runaway climate change is low (FT)
- Climate change fight affordable, cut emissions to zero by 2100 – UN (Reuters)
- UN sees irreversible damage to planet from fossil fuels (Bloomberg)
- UN panel adopts landmark climate report (AP)
- Call for action to tackle emissions (Press Association)
- IPCC: rapid carbon emissions cuts vital to stop ‘severe’ impact of climate change (Guardian)
- Scientists sound the alarm in climate change report (LA Times)
- U.N. panel warns of dire effects from lack of action over global warming (New York Times)
- Effects of climate change ‘irreversible,’ U.N. panel warns in report (Washington Post)
- Scientists warn time is running out to tackle climate change (BusinessGreen)
- IPCC climate report: ‘conclusive evidence’ humans warming planet (RTCC)
- 5 key take aways from the latest climate change report (National Geographic)
- ‘Greenhouse gas emissions need unprecedented cuts’ (Business Standard)
- IPCC report: six graphs that show how we’re changing the world’s climate (The Guardian)
- UN climate change report: time running out to prevent ‘dangerous, irreversible’ impacts of global warming (The Telegraph)
- Temperatures in Europe have already increased by 0.8-1.25DegC and by 2046–2065, an increase of 2-3DegC is projected, with a rise of 4-7DegC over the long-term. In the Mediterranean, the warmest daily maximum temperature is projected to shoot up by 5-8DegC.
- The risk of extreme events, such as coastal and river flooding will likely increase with climate change, and by the 2080, coastal flooding is predicted to affect 775,000 to 5.5 million more people.
- Cost of sea level rise could reach €17 billion each year by the end of the century, with the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, Denmark, Spain and Italy expected to be hardest hit.
- In Poland, 240,000 people could be affected by increased flood risk on the Baltic coast by 2100.
- River flooding and damages are also expected to rise as climate change takes hold, with Central and Northern Europe and the UK most affected.
- Climate change may increase the frequency and the intensity of storms in northwest Europe, causing economic and insurance losses.
- The summer heatwaves in 2003 and 2010 led to grain-harvest losses of 20-30 percent, and cereal production fell around 40 percent in the Iberian Peninsula during the 2004-05 drought. Continued warming, reduced precipitation and more frequent extreme events could slash food productivity, particularly in southern Europe, by the end of the century.
- Climate change is likely to have negative health effects in Europe, with more frequent and intense heatwaves, and sea-level rise and an increase in extreme precipitation events leading to more deaths, serious health and disrupted infrastructure.
- 5-9 percent of 120 native European mammals could be at risk of extinction because of climate change this century and this figure could rise to as much as 70-78 percent under the most dramatic estimations of climate change.
- Temperatures have already increased by 0.2-1.75DegC. By 2046–2065, an increase of 2-4DegC is projected, with a rise of 4-6DegC over the long-term.
- Water resources are already stressed in many parts of North America, and are expected to become further stressed due to future climatic changes. Recent floods, droughts, and changes in streamflow are a sign of future climate impacts.
- Projections show a decrease in water quality and supplies for urban areas and irrigation, except in a few specific areas including southern tropical Mexico and the Pacific Northwest. Increased drought conditions are expected in arid and semi-arid western US and Canada and in most regions of Mexico.
- Meanwhile, climate change-induced flooding could affect sectors ranging from agriculture and livestock in southern tropical Mexico to urban and water infrastructure in areas such as Dayton, Ohio, metro Boston, and the Californian Bay-Delta region. Increased urbanization will compound these impacts.
- Climate change is expected to affect agricultural production, with overall yields of major crops in North America expected to decline modestly by mid-century and more steeply by 2100 without adequate adaptation. The productivity of California crops are projected decline from 9-29 percent by 2097, with large declines in suitable land for grape and wine production. Meanwhile, corn and wheat production is projected to be negatively impacted in the northeastern and southeastern US.
- Climate change and drought index projections show increases in wildfire risk during the summer and fall on the southeast Pacific coast, Northern Plains and the Rocky Mountains. Wildfires pose a direct threat to human lives, property and health, including respiratory effects from smoke inhalation.
- Warm winters in western Canada and the US have increased winter survival of the larvae of bark beetles, helping drive large-scale forest infestations and forest die-off. In British Columbia alone, mountain pine beetle outbreaks have already severely affected over 18 million hectares (44.5 million acres) of pine forests and are continuing to expand.
- Climate change may impact the current range and possibly the incidence of vector-borne diseases, including Lyme disease, dengue fever, West Nile virus, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
- Extreme weather currently poses risk to the energy system and coastal communities. For example, Hurricane Sandy resulted in a loss of power to 8.5 million customers in the Northeast US and caused 285 deaths and $68 billion in damage.
- Insurance claims have and are expected to increase significantly due to climate change as more people and assets are located in areas of high risk, especially along coasts. Consequently, the price of insurance has increased in regions where the risk of loss and damage has increased.
- With each year now bringing with it new heatwave records and more extreme bushfires, Australia is already getting a taste of what is to come should global average temperatures continue to rise.
- Extreme heat has become more frequent and intense since 1950, while cold extremes have become rarer. Increased hot weather is expected to hit major population centres, with hot days in Melbourne expected to increase by 20 to 40 percent by 2030, and by up to 190 percent by 2070.
- The heat increases will see a rise in morbidity and other heat related health impacts, damage to property and infrastructure, and economic loss from lost productivity. It will also drive greater numbers of intense bushfires in an increasingly early and elongated bushfire season, and significant decreases in agricultural production in the Murray-Darling Basin and South Eastern/Western Australia.
- Increasing heat brings with it decreases in rainfall, particularly over Southern Australia, but this decrease in the South will be accompanied by the increased frequency and intensity of intense rainfall and flooding in the North, particularly in Queensland.
- Extensive and permanent damage to coral reef systems is expected, and few coral-dominated systems are expected to survive if global temperatures increase to 2DegC and beyond, especially given ocean acidification will also worsen with CO2 pollution increases. Damage to coastal infrastructure and low-lying ecosystems from sea level is also expected under high-end scenarios.
- Ring the Leaders to support the IPCC (Sharing Copenhagen)
- Three ways the climate crisis is already being solved (Greenpeace)
- IPCC WGI: The physical science basis (University of Cambridge – CISL)
- IPCC WGII: Impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability (University of Cambridge – CISL)
- IPCC WGIII: Mitigation of climate change (University of Cambridge – CISL)
- 100% renewables
- Which path will leaders choose?
- For more social graphics, check out our IPCC Social Media Hub
- IPCC and the Carbon Bubble (Carbon Tracker)
- Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions 1850 to 2011 (World Resources Institute)
- The Global Carbon Budget (World Resources Institute)
- Our Emissions Future (World Resources Institute)
- Photo: Greenpeace highlight the solution to the climate challenge (Greenpeace)
- For a variety of photos check out the Tree Alerts Photo Library
Tools and Resources
Breaking down the IPCC
- Press Release: Climate change threatens irreversible and dangerous impacts, but options exist to limit its effects (IPCC)
- Report: IPCC Synthesis Report: Summary for Policymakers (IPCC)
- Report: IPCC Synthesis Report (IPCC)
- Resource Hub: IPCC communications resources (CAN/GCCA)
- Briefing: IPCC Resource Pack (CAN/GCCA)
- Briefing: IPCC Regional Breakdown (CAN/GCCA)
- Briefing: IPCC explained by Working Group (CAN/GCCA)
- Weblink: IPCC Social Media Hub with memes and tweets
- Online Tool: IPCC AR5 Key Messages Tracker (WWF)
- Weblink: Breaking down the IPCC (Climate Nexus)
- Report: IPCC AR5 WGIII (IPCC)
- Report: IPCC AR5 WGII (IPCC)
- Report: IPCC AR5 WGI (IPCC)
- Weblink: Sector specific implications of the IPCC (CISL)
- Weblink: IPCC & health hub (GHCA)
- Messaging Guide: Talking about climate change (Climate Nexus)
- Briefing: The IPCC report-writing process (Grantham Institute)
- Explainer: How to read an IPCC report (The Conversation)
- Briefing: Guidance notes for reading the IPCC Summary for Policymakers (Victoria University)
- Overview: Understanding the UN climate science reports (University of Cambridge – CISL)
What people are saying
- Governments missing link in the push for climate action as scientists deliver unequivocal evidence (CAN International)
- IPCC report strengthens case against fossil fuel industry (350.org)
- No more debates on climate science, over to leaders (WWF)
- IPCC climate report: Millions more risk hunger unless urgent action is taken to address climate threat to food security (CARE International)
- IPCC report makes scientific and economic case for tackling climate change crystal clear (Aldersgate Group)
- Business leaders state IPCC report is “required reading” for governments and companies (CISL)
- UN Science Panel shows importance of climate action now (ACT Alliance)
- Comment on IPCC climate change report (ECIU)
- The new IPCC report, main conclusions and the story left untold (Greenpeace)
Blog and Briefings
- Blog: The IPCC is stern on climate change – but it still underestimates the situation (Bill McKibben, 350.org)
- Blog: The IPCC synthesis report: A summary for everyone (Carbon Brief)
- Briefing: What’s new and interesting in the IPCC synthesis report (Carbon Brief)
- Blog: The IPCC publishes its synthesis report – but what does it mean for development? (Cafod)
- Blog: Return to ‘Hopenhagen’ to avert climate crisis? (ActionAid)
- Blog: 9 significant scientific findings too recent to be included in the new IPCC report (World Resources Institute)
- Blog: 3 infographics explain our climate past and future
- Blog: 10 important findings from the IPCC reports
- Blog: Why you should bother to read the IPCC synthesis report (RTCC)
- Blog: Stark IPCC climate report shows the time for talking is over (The Conversation)
- Blog: Understanding climate science in 10 easy steps (Greenpeace)
- FAQ: Background note on the “Synthesis Report” (Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice)
- Briefing: Putting the words of the IPCC in context (Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice)
- Briefing: What is geo-engineering? (Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice)
- Blog: The IPCC report: A summary for everyone (Carbon Brief)
- Blog: IPCC: Six graphs that explain how the climate is changing (Carbon Brief)
- Blog: The 5 most sobering charts from the IPCC climate report (Climate Central)
- Interactive: Indicators of a warming world (Climate Central)
- Briefing: What does 95% really mean? (Climate Nexus)
- Weblink: IPCC Storytelling hub (CAN/GCCA)
- Blog: Drought holding Kenya at ransom (Tearfund)
- Accompanying Photo: John Burje Galgallo Headmaster and pupils of St Peters School, Marsabit, Kenya (Ralph Hodgson/Tearfund)
- Blog: Quest for water damaging health and communities in Brazil (Tearfund)
- Accompanying Photo: The family of JosŽ Mendes Sobrinho, known as Ze de Antonia (MarcusPerkins/Tearfund)
- Blog: Boosting transport efficiency to cut carbon in Stockholm (ICLEI)
- Accompanying Photo: Stockholm commuter rail train (Wikimedia commons)
- Blog: Fishing village resist harmful coal power in India (Reclaim Power)
- Accompanying Photo: Tata Mundra coal power plant near Saleiha village, India(Reclaim Power)
- Blog: Pacific islanders leading the way in the low carbon transition (Renewables 100 Policy Institute’s Go 100% Project)
- Accompanying Photo: Fakaofo Atoll in the Tokelau Group, photographed from 30,000 feet (Marshman, wikipedia)
- Video: The Human Impact of Climate Change: Personal Stories from U.S. and Mexico(Climate Reality)
- Video: Arctic ocean climate change impacts (Ocean Scientists)
- Video: 100% Carbon Neutral Power – City of Palo Alto (go 100 percent renewable energy)
- Video: Why divest from fossil fuels (350.org)
- Video: Solar micro-grid project, Dharnai Village, India (WWF)
- Video: Peoples Climate March – Report Back (People’s Climate March)
- Report: Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4 degree C warmer World Must Be Avoided (World Bank)
- Report: Taken by storm: Responding to the impacts of climate change (Christian Aid)
- Report: Hot and hungry: How to stop climate change derailing the fight against hunger (Oxfam)
- Report: What we know: The reality, risks and response to climate change (AAAS)
- Report: Climate change: evidence and causes (UK Royal Society & US National Academy of Science)
- Report: Annual Climate Statement Highlights Extreme Events (WMO)
- Guide: Debunking one-pager (Skeptical Science)
- Guide: Debunking handbook (Skeptical Science)
- Website: The Consensus Project
- Website: SourceWatch (Center for Media and Democracy)
- Report: Dealing in Doubt (Greenpeace)
- Resource: Climate Misinformers (Skeptical Science)
- Resource: Global Warming Disinformation Database (DeSmog Blog)
- “The scientific case for prioritizing action on climate change is clearer than ever. We have little time before the window of opportunity to stay within 2ºC of warming closes. To keep a good chance of staying below 2ºC, and at manageable costs, our emissions should drop by 40 to 70 percent globally between 2010 and 2050, falling to zero or below by 2100. We have that opportunity, and the choice is in our hands.” – R. K. Pachauri, Chair of the IPCC
- “It is technically feasible to transition to a low-carbon economy. But what is lacking are appropriate policies and institutions. The longer we wait to take action, the more it will cost to adapt and mitigate climate change… Compared to the imminent risk of irreversible climate change impacts, the risks of mitigation are manageable” – Youba Sokona, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III
- “Adaptation can play a key role in decreasing these risks. Adaptation is so important because it can be integrated with the pursuit of development, and can help prepare for the risks to which we are already committed by past emissions and existing infrastructure.” – Vicente Barros, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II
- “It’s easy to look at what science requires and be overwhelmed. But what the IPCC is really telling us is that we have an historic opportunity to secure a clean, just and safer future for the world and the people that live in it.” – Samantha Smith, leader of WWF’s Global Climate & Energy Initiative
- “[There are limits to adaptation.] This means that in some cases floods, cyclones, sea-level rise and drought will be so extreme that people can no longer cope with them. That is why developing countries have been demanding meaningful ways to support those communities battered by the climate change impacts that they have not even caused.” – Harjeet Singh, International Coordinator Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Adaptation for ActionAid International
- “Let’s face it – the science is in and it’s game over for fossil fuels. The IPCC spells out the benefits of scaling up the transition to renewable energy, such as affordability, better public health and more jobs. What started with a decade of coal will be known as the century of renewables -economics and co-benefits are on their side, while the opposite is true for nuclear and carbon capture and storage.” – Kaisa Kosonen, Greenpeace climate policy advisor
- “For scientists, there is nothing vague about how to deal with climate change. Governments need to pay attention and phase out coal and oil now or end up doing it later at a much higher cost. However, those who seize the potential of renewable energy will leap ahead to a sustainable future.” – Greenpeace Head of International Climate Politics, Martin Kaiser
- “The world’s scientists could not have made it clearer: to avoid truly devastating climate impacts, we must move rapidly to phase out our use of polluting fossil fuels. Political leaders now face a choice: they can either put policies in place to achieve this essential shift, or they can spend the rest of their careers dealing with climate disaster after climate disaster.” – Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists
- “Throughout the Fifth Assessment report, the IPCC repeatedly highlights that climate change impacts will increasingly erode food security. If global warming continues at current rates, millions more people in the developing world are at risk of going hungry as climate disruption worsens. This is yet another call to action from today’s leading climate scientists – act now or risk exposing people around the world to unprecedented risks, food-related and otherwise, for which nobody is prepared.” – CARE International’s Climate Change Advocacy Coordinator, Sven Harmeling
- “The scientists have done their job, now it’s the politicians’ turn. World leaders have everything they need to act: clear scientific evidence, a strong economic case, and huge public support. The only thing they lack is the will. The report strengthens the case for fossil fuel divestment. It clearly states that the vast majority of coal, oil and gas must remain underground and that investments in the sector must fall by tens of billions of dollars a year. The fossil fuel industry’s business plan and a liveable planet are simply incompatible.” – May Boeve, Executive Director of 350.org
- “The report highlights that climate change will have an increasing impact on food security, and that there are limits for adaptation to the increasing global temperature. Sea level rise and persistent droughts will force many people to move. For the families and communities that are going to be hardest hit, the report is a horrific prediction. We can’t adapt our way out of all of this. We will see more disasters and less production of nutritious food, more people will be displaced and more will go hungry. Politicians around the world must act on these predictions and there is no time to waste. We need to do whatever we can to reduce our emissions, help people to adapt, and where this is not possible, help displaced people to settle and move on with their lives somewhere else.” – Mattias Söderberg, ACT Alliance
- “The IPCC report presents the clearest picture yet of the risks posed by uncontrolled climate change. It concludes that no parts of the world are free from the risks of ‘severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts’. The poorest countries, where many people already struggle to make a living, will be affected first. In this context, the EU 2030 climate agreement is ever more important in terms of setting the agenda for ambitious and rapid response to global warming caused by carbon emissions.” – Dr Camilla Toulmin, Director of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
- “This report should galvanize the world to take urgent and collective action to curb climate change, and to deal with its here-and-now devastating impacts. We’re almost out of time to avoid the worst—but we’re not out of solutions. For the sake of our children and all future generations, we need to take significant action, and soon.’’ – Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council
- “This landmark report makes it absolutely clear: we must rapidly transition to a clean energy economy free from dirty fossil fuels, and we must do it now. In the starkest terms ever used, the scientific community is looking world leaders directly in the eye and demanding that they wake up. To fight global poverty, sustain stable governments and societies, and maintain a livable planet, all findings indicate that we should kick fossil fuels to the curb. The silver lining to the report is that it recognizes clean energy climate solutions are affordable and ready to deploy.” – Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune
- “If we want a beautiful future for the generations to come, we must start taking action today to take care of our wildlife and wild places. Conservation is not just about protecting our earth, but ourselves.” – Australian conservationist and actress, Bindi Irwin
- “The IPCC’s synthesis report unambiguously states that human influence on the climate is clear and that the consequences of climate changes that have already occurred are profound. It emphasises that continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further, long-lasting changes to our climate system, increasing the risks for people and ecosystems. However, the extent of those risk could be limited by a combination of adaptation and substantial, sustained reductions in greenhouse gases. The gauntlet has been thrown down to policymakers, businesses and society more broadly to respond to.” – Dr Emily Shuckburgh, Head of Open Oceans at the British Antarctic Survey
- “The bottom line is that our planet is warming due to human actions, the damage is already visible, and the challenge requires ambitious, decisive and immediate action. We can’t prevent a large scale disaster if we don’t heed this kind of hard science. The longer we are stuck in a debate over ideology and politics, the more the costs of inaction grow and grow. Those who choose to ignore or dispute the science so clearly laid out in this report do so at great risk for all of us and for our kids and grandkids.” – John Kerry, US Secretary of State
- “When U.S. politicians refuse to act on climate change by claiming that they are not scientists, this report is the answer to their evasion. Our world’s best climate scientists are saying climate change is dangerous, it is here, and it will get worse if we sit idly by and make excuses not to act. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a scientist to know that solutions to climate change are also job creators, like solar and wind energy. You don’t have to be a doctor to know that less air pollution means better public health. You don’t have to be a military leader to know that fighting climate change also helps us reduce our dependence on foreign oil and increases our national security. You just have to have some common sense.” – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chair of the U.S. Senate Climate Change Clearinghouse
- “The world’s scientific community has given us both a clear warning and a message of hope. It has made it crystal clear that man-made climate change is a reality but has also shown that prompt, cost-effective and coordinated action by the world’s governments can help limit the detrimental impacts that unabated climate change would have on the natural environment and the world economy. It is now time for governments to deliver a deal at the pace and scale required by climate science.” – Nick Molho, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group
- “The findings of this report are required reading for government offices and boardrooms around the world. Last week we welcomed the European Union’s ambitious greenhouse gas emissions targets, this week we are calling on the whole world to set even more ambitious climate targets. This report, developed by thousands of scientific experts, drawing on over 30,000 scientific papers, has reaffirmed that human interference is the origin of climate disruption and that climate change is humanity’s greatest threat. It also concludes that there are solutions within our reach, and this is a message that business leaders understand.” – Philippe Joubert, Chair of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group
- “The message is as familiar as it is clear. The climate change debate is over, we can and need to act. The reality of the findings doesn’t change what many in the public and private sector battle with despite the evidence. Decarbonising energy intensive sectors, the main building blocks of our economy, is our biggest challenge. The IPCC is right to endorse the solutions as affordable, and possible, but it doesn’t get away from the fact that many of the right business and policy decisions have been caught between the potential for large near term costs of mitigation or extremely large costs of climate impacts in the longer term. The IPCC is basically saying either pay now for 2 degrees, or pay more later, in a potentially even warmer world. The finance, incentives and frameworks that enable those choices to be made is the job for Paris.” – Jonathan Grant, director, PricewaterhouseCoopers
- “This report highlights the reality of climate change to all businesses, but we can’t make a meaningful change alone. Government and business need to work together to mobilise a concerted and coordinated response to address the most significant environmental issue of our time.” – Hubert Patricot, Executive Vice President and European Group President at Coca-Cola Enterprises
- “As companies, consumers, and citizens, we all face significant potential risks from the changing climate, which we must work together to address. This calls for leadership, vision and cooperation. We hope that the UK and other European governments will continue to demonstrate their commitment to developing a new, competitive low carbon economy.” – Ian Cheshire, Kingfisher’s Group Chief Executive
- “This warning from the science must provide a trigger for action. A comprehensive, effective and ambitious global response must be agreed at the UN climate change meeting in Paris in 2015, which means we need to start working now to greatly enhance global co-operation and build the foundations for a workable deal and investment in low carbon solutions.” – Carmen Becerril, Chief International Officer from Acciona
- Special Alert: IPCC Synthesis Report
- IPCC reports encourage all sectors to tackle climate change
- Updated IPCC Working Group III Special Alert
- Health professionals demand urgent climate action following IPCC report
- Updated IPCC Working Group II Special Alert
- Political pressure grows as new IPCC leak projects escalating food crisis
- Climate risks to business are clear in wake of IPCC report
- Special Alert: IPCC releases latest climate science report
- RT @BBCBreaking #IPCC report says by 2050 most of world’s electricity should – and could – be low-carbon http://bbc.in/1rMt9ch
- MT @dpcarrington UN’s Ban Ki-Moon: “Science has spoken, there is no ambiguity in message. Leaders must act. Time is not on our side” #IPCC
- MT @pilitaclark Scientists say cost of avoiding runaway climate change is low on.ft.com/1pg01jh via @FT
- RT @IrinaGreenVoice #IPCC report: six graphs that show how we’re changing the world’s #climate | @guardian: http://gu.com/p/43v68/tw
- RT @ClimateBrad IPCC: We’re already in the yellow zone. 2C warming won’t be “safe”, but more would very dangerous. #climate
- MT @MomKnowsBestOnline Fossil fuels should be ‘phased out by 2100’ says IPCC – BBC News bit.ly/1G9BEci
- MT @ClimateGroup Only an unprecedented global effort to cut GHGs will curb irreversible climate change, #IPCC warns http://ow.ly/DGBs1
- RT @Greenpeace Renewable energy, energy efficiency are practical ways to get carbon pollution cuts #IPCC says needed http://grnpc.org/IgHUj
- RT @TheRe100 100% renewable is only way to rapidly cut carbon emissions – vital to stop severe climate impacts http://gu.com/p/43x5g