IPCC Report: we are running short of time

Roughly every seven years, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change publishes a comprehensive report on the impact of the climate crisis. The second part of the current report appeared at the end of February and calls urgently for swift and resolute action.

impact of the climate crisis© Adobe Stock / sveta

There isn’t much time left in order to ensure that climate action and climate adaptation can give everyone a liveable and sustainable future. This is the conclusion of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in the second part of its current report, which was published at the end of February 2022. The report assesses the impact of the climate crisis. It focuses on ecosystems and biodiversity around the world, as well as the repercussions for people and society.

Some consequences already irreversible

The alarming conclusion is that time is running out for measures to mitigate the climate crisis. Anthropogenic climate change is already leading to more and more serious consequences, some of which are irreversible, and which many sensitive ecosystems and societies are unable to cope with. Climate change-related risks are exacerbated by other human influences like pollution and habitat degradation. Economic and social developmental patterns and policy instruments have contributed to the vulnerability of ecosystems and societies to the climate crisis.

Call for drastic emission cuts

The authors say that increased adaptation measures, coupled with better protection of ecosystems, can reduce the risks of the climate crisis. However, immediate cross-sectoral and deep-reaching changes are needed, and these must go hand-in-hand with swift and drastic emission reductions, in order to strengthen the climatic development and attain the sustainability goals.

The IPCC report is compiled roughly every seven years by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC is part of the United Nations. The first part of the current report appeared in August 2021, addressing the science underlying climate change. The third part is to be published in early April. It will cover the political, economic and technological possibilities to curb climate change.

In total, the second part of the report makes reference to the findings of more than 34,000 studies. 270 authors from 67 countries, including 15 from Germany, are working on this.