Context: Climate change is a threat to human wellbeing and planetary health and there is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in a report.
The current report synthesises findings from three working groups. It also integrates evidence from three special reports during the sixth assessment cycle.
- Human activities, principally through emissions of greenhouse gases, have unequivocally caused global warming, with global surface temperature reaching 1.1°C above 1850–1900 in 2011–2020.
- Global greenhouse gas emissions have continued to increase.
- Adaptation planning and implementation has progressed across all sectors and regions, with documented benefits and varying effectiveness. Despite progress, adaptation gaps exist, and will continue to grow at current rates of implementation
- Global GHG emissions in 2030 implied by nationally determined contributions (NDCs) announced by October 2021 make it likely that warming will exceed 1.5°C during the 21st century and make it harder to limit warming below 2°C.
- Climatic and non-climatic risks will increasingly interact, creating compound and cascading risks that are more complex and difficult to manage.
- The report, brings in to sharp focus the losses and damages we are already experiencing and will continue into the future, hitting the most vulnerable people and ecosystems especially hard.
Implications for India
- India’s priority should be to minimise loss and damage in terms of lives, livelihood and biodiversity, and accelerate equitable action and adaptation.
- It proposes an approach emphasising ‘climate resilient development’.
- As a developing country, India can lower its per capita emissions through energy efficiency policies already being implemented in almost every sector.
- It can also decarbonise the energy sector by using cleaner options like solar and renewable energy, she added.
About the IPCC
- The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change.
- It was established by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide political leaders with periodic scientific assessments about climate change.
- The IPCC has 195 member states that are members of the UN or WMO.
- The IPCC has three working groups:
- Working Group I, which addresses with the physical science of climate change;
- Working Group II, which focuses on the impact, adaptation and vulnerability associated with climate change; and
- Working Group III, which deals with the mitigation of climate change.
- It also has a Task Force on Greenhouse Gas Inventories that develops methodologies for measuring emissions and removals.
- IPCC assessments provide governments, at all levels, with scientific information they can use to develop climate policies.
- The UN panel does not itself undertake scientific assessments but only evaluates the state of scientific evidence on various aspects of climate change.
About the Sixth Assessment Cycle
The IPCC publishes comprehensive scientific assessments every six to seven years. The previous one, the Fifth Assessment Report, was completed in 2014 and provided the main scientific input to The Paris Agreement.
At its 41nd Session in February 2015, the IPCC decided to produce a Sixth Assessment Report (AR6).