The IPCC Working Group II has released its new report on February 28. If global warming should increase the average temperature more than 1.5°C, it will be very difficult to have a development paradigm resilient enough to climate. It will be impossible in some regions of the Earth, should the global warming hit the plus 2°C.
By Marianna Malpaga | YPA Italy
Time to act against climate change is running out. Published on February 28, the latest report of the IPCC Working Group II has underlined that to have a development paradigm resilient to climate is becoming more and more a very challenging matter. This goal will be even less attainable if global warming increases the average temperature of the Planet of 1,5°C. In some regions of the Earth, the task will result impossible, should the increase of the Planet’s temperature be of plus 2°C. To avert these risks, we need adequate financial investments, technology transfer, political will and partnerships among different actors. At the same time, we need to drastically reduce the greenhouse gasses emissions.
The “Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” report must serve as a terrible warning on the consequences of inaction. This is the opinion of Hoesung Lee, the IPCC president. He added that the document shows that climate chage is a serious threat to our wellbeing and to the Planet’s health. Our action determine the way nature and society adapt to the growing risks.
The most vulnerable ecosystems and human groups are of course the most exposed to the brutal consequences of climate change. Debra Roberts, co-president of the working group which produced the report, points out that the coexistence of urbanization and climate change creates complex challenges, especially for those cities with low urban planning, a high level of poverty and unemployment and suffering with the lack of basic services.
One of the most urgent problems caused by climate change is the multiplication of extreme weather events, which cause a series of very impactful effects. The increasing occurences of heat waves, droughts and floods are responsible for the mass deaths in some species of trees and corals. They cannot tolarate any longer the living conditions in their usual habitats.
Millions of people are exposed to food and water insicurity. They mainly live in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, in the Arctic region or on small islands.
Lee defined the “Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” report as a document recognising the interdependence among climate, biodiversity and people. It bring together hard, social and economic sciences in a stronger way that what the previous IPCC report did. And by doing so, the study highlights the urgency of an immediate and more ambitious action to fight climate change. Half measures are no more admissible.
Healthy ecosystems are more resilient in front of climate change and thus more able to produce what is needed for life, such as food and water. This is, in short, the statement made by Hans-Otto Portner, co-president of the IPCC Working Group II. By restoring deteriotated ecosystems and by preserving 30-50% of terrestrial and acquatic habitats, human society can take advantage of nature’s capacity of absorbing and storing carbon. This way, we can walk more stadily toward a sustainable furute. But adequate investments and political support are fundamental to this journey.
The challenges in front of politics, the private sector and civil society are a lot, as the global dynamics intertwined with climate change are many. The unsustainable use of natural resources, growing urbanization, social inequalities, loss and damage caused by extreme weather events and pandemics are but a few examples.
However, Roberts noted that cities do offer opportunities to act for climate: green buildings, reliable drinking water and renewable energy supplying, sustainable means of transport to connect urban and rural areas. These are all initiatives leading to a more inclusive society.