Stakes against global warming never higher than ever: UN

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New Delhi:   The UN Climate Science Chief Hoesung Lee has said the stakes in the fight against global warming are higher than ever. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC Chairperson Hoesung Lee said in a live videocast as nearly 200 nations met to finalise what is sure to be a harrowing report on climate impacts.

The meeting opened to approve the report of the second IPCC Working Group focusing on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability to climate change which will be added to the sixth later this month. 

The report of the first IPCC WORKING Group, which focussed on the physical science of climate change, influenced the work of the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow, COP 26 last year.

The chair of the IPCC, said, the need for the Working Group 2 report has never been greater because the stakes have never been higher. 

“The Sixth Assessment Cycle has been the most ambitious one in IPCC history. We have already delivered three special reports, a methodology report, and the Working Group I report. And   we are on track to deliver the remaining three instalments: Namely, the Working Group II report, the Working Group III report shortly thereafter, and the Synthesis Report later this year, thereby bringing the Sixth Assessment Report to a successful conclusion,” he said.

Lee said Compared to its predecessor reports, the Working Group II report will have a greater focus on solutions and more regional and local information.

“It will more strongly integrate the natural, social and economic sciences. And it will provide policymakers with sound data and knowledge to help them shape policies and make decisions,” he said. 

Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization, Petteri Taalas, said the impact of climate change is already very visible and happening worldwide. He added that the weather-related disasters have been increasing dramatically over the past two decades.

The WMO chief noted that some areas of the world such as tropical latitudes and developing countries, especially in Africa, Southern Asia, and the Pacific islands, are particularly vulnerable to climate change.  

Last year WMO published a report on disaster statistics, which demonstrated that for the past 50 years, 4.5 billion people have experienced a major weather-related disaster over the past 20 years. According to earlier thinking, 2°C was an ambitious enough climate change target.  

However, the UNFCC’s previous special report revealed that the impact of 1.5°C would be “a game changer”.  

“After that, 1.5°C became the desired outcome of climate mitigation work for the coming years”, said the WMO chief. 

However, despite that COP26 was the second most successful conference after Paris, he observed that the 1.5°C target is “barely alive”. 

The IPCC has begun a two-week meeting to consider a report that assesses the impact of the world’s changing climate and how humans might adapt. Hundreds of scientists meeting virtually will lay out the latest evidence on how past and future changes to the Earth’s climate system are affecting the planet.

The report under review is the second of three installments that will comprise the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, which will be released later this year. The UN-backed IPCC, a collection of hundreds of the world’s top scientists, issues three huge reports on climate change every five to seven years. 

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