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IPCC report shows the world cannot afford to push climate to the back burner

E3G responds to IPCC Working Group II contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report

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Peter digs for water in a dry riverbed, in Kenya's Eastern province. Photo by Flore de Preneuf for World Bank via Flickr
Local resident digs for water in a dry riverbed, in Kenya’s Eastern province. Photo by Flore de Preneuf for World Bank via Flickr
  1. Developed countries urgently need to step up support for vulnerable countries to manage the impacts of climate change through investment in adaptation, resilience and addressing loss and damage, which remains a core ask of developing countries. Current financial support and pledges do not go far enough to address the needs of those most affected, who have done the least to contribute to climate change.
  2. Climate change is already impacting every country, but these effects will become even more severe. Even a slight 1.5°C overshoot will drastically impact societies worldwide.
  3. Mainstreaming policies that account for the full range of climate risks in key multilateral venues like the G7, G20, and World Bank meetings will be critical for keeping the risks manageable, avoiding irreversible tipping points.

Story

Today, the IPCC released the Working Group II contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report. It confirms that climate impacts are more extreme than expected and the most vulnerable communities are being hit the hardest. It also highlights the gap between the level of risk and what needs to be done to fully address the crisis. The science is clear: there is no time left to waste.

The report emphasizes that adaptation, resilience, and addressing unavoidable climate loss and damage are political challenges that do not receive enough attention. Climate change is a clear and present risk for everyone, but communities on the front line bear the biggest consequences while contributing the least to the problem.

It is in governments’ national interest to consider the full range of scenarios and economic, financial, political and security risks in their risk management to be effective.  Without at least a 45% reduction in emissions by 2030, we risk passing climate tipping points that will lock in ecological harm and accelerate climate change exponentially. Governments are failing to build in more extreme impacts and tail risks into their assessments and planning. We are currently unprepared not just for physical impacts, but interconnected cascading effects.

Chronic underfunding demonstrates how climate change impacts are not receiving the resources they deserve. Adaptation finance is still only 20% of overall climate finance and an even smaller share goes to the most vulnerable communities. Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have received 14% of these flows over the last years, with Small Island Developing States (SIDS) hovering around 2%. Countries should commit to improving the quantity, quality and accessibility of adaptation finance, without burdensome procedures for vulnerable countries.

Quotes on the IPCC report

Taylor Dimsdale, Program Director for Risk and Resilience at E3G said:

“Policymakers should sit up and pay attention to these findings. There is no doubt now that climate has implications for food and water scarcity, financial stability and conflict and human security. There’s still time to fix the coming global catastrophe but the clock is ticking, and time is running out.”

Jennifer Tollmann, Senior Policy Advisor for Climate, Diplomacy & Geopolitics at E3G said:

“Angesichts der sich entwickelnden geopolitischen Spannungen, die die G20-Gespräche immer schwieriger machen werden, gewinnt der deutsche G7-Gipfel nun noch an größerer Bedeutung: nicht nur für das Konzept eines Klimaklubs – sondern konkret zur Beschleunigung des Ausstiegs der G7 aus der Kohle- und Gasabhängigkeit, zur Unterstützung der Entwicklungsländer bei ihrer eigenen nachhaltigen Energiewende und dem Umgang mit den immer verheerenderen Folgen des Klimawandels.“

Ines Benomar, Researcher for Climate Diplomacy and Risk and Resilience at E3G, said:

“Vulnerable countries, while being the least responsible for the climate crisis, are reaching the limits of adaptation and are the least equipped to deal with the rising impacts they face. This year’s IPCC report findings must prompt governments to deliver on their climate finance commitments. Supporting vulnerable countries to manage the impacts of climate change is in every country’s national interest, as investment in adaptation, resilience and addressing loss and damage is investment in global stability and security.”

Tom Evans, Policy Advisor for Climate Diplomacy at E3G, said:

“Dramatically accelerating the phase out of fossil fuels and slashing emissions in half this decade is essential to avoid the risks that climate change poses to our societies, economies and security. Today’s report should be another reminder to our leaders of the urgency of this challenge, and what is at stake if we fail to adapt and to decarbonise fast enough. The IPCC’s next report in April will show that we already have many of the solutions to get there. What we lack is the political will.”

Kate Levick, E3G Associate Director Sustainable Finance said:

“Climate impacts pose a threat to global prosperity and financial stability, in every country. It is time that richer countries understood that they are not immune from these effects. Finance must now be mobilised at scale to build resilience around the world, protecting the most vulnerable and fending off future financial shocks which could prevent a sustainable transition.”

Claire McConnell, Policy Advisor for Climate Diplomacy at E3G said:

“The interrelation between nature and climate is clear. Protecting biodiversity and harnessing the power of nature will be critical to delivering a triple win for people, planet and economies. Pairing scaled-up investment for innovation in agricultural adaptation, together with Indigenous and traditional knowledge, can deliver a global public good that best addresses the needs and constraints of those who are likely to experience the worst impacts of climate change: African smallholder farmers.”

Available for comment

Taylor Dimsdale is available for commentary – please contact directly:

m: +1 (240) 381 4594, taylor.dimsdale@e3g.org

Tom Evans is available for commentary – please contact directly:

m: +44 7931 317 327, tom.evans@e3g.org

Claire McConnell is available for commentary – please contact directly:

m: +49 160 944 35841, claire.mcconnell@e3g.org

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