The United Nations scientific panel on climate change today presented its latest report on the impacts of climate change, society's vulnerability to them, and the capacity and limits to adapt to the changing climate. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report finds clear evidence that climate change is already having substantial and widespread impacts today but says strong and urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions can reduce the risk of such impacts in the future.
Connie Hedegaard, EU Commissioner for Climate Action, said: " More knowledge is always good, more action would be even better. When the alarm goes off, many just hit the snooze button. This does not work anymore when it comes to the climate. It's time to wake up and bring action to the scale needed. Europe is preparing an ambitious reduction target for 2030 to be adopted later this year. I appeal to all major emitters to do the same urgently. It's time to get serious."
The report's key findings include:
Most comprehensive report ever
The report by IPCC Working Group II brings together the latest knowledge on the impacts of climate change, the vulnerability and exposure of humans and the natural world to these impacts, and adaptation to climate change. The report is the second of four reports that together will form the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report. The first report, on the physical science basis of climate change, was finalised last September.
The new report is the most comprehensive ever written on this subject and draws on a substantially larger body of scientific, technical and socioeconomic evidence than the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report, published in 2007. It provides a strengthened body of evidence on observed impacts and future risks of climate change, including expanded coverage of different regions and sectors of society.
The IPCC is the leading international body for the assessment of the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to the understanding of climate change. Its assessment reports represent the consensus among thousands of scientists worldwide and are based on peer-reviewed and published scientific and technical literature covering multiple lines of analysis and datasets. For its Fourth Assessment Report, the IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former US Vice-President Al Gore.