24 Mar 23

Key takeaways from the IPCC ‘Synthesis’ report on climate change

IPCC 2023Earlier this week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released ‘Synthesis’, the final instalment of its sixth assessment report, which is the most comprehensive review of climate science to date. The report highlights that human-caused climate change is already having severe impacts on vulnerable people and ecosystems worldwide, as the Earth is warming faster than previously thought. However, there is still time to take effective action to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

1. The importance of immediate action and climate impact for future generations

The report highlights the urgent need for deep, rapid, and sustained greenhouse gas emissions reduction as crucial to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. It is essential to take immediate and decisive action to reduce emissions across all sectors, including transportation, energy production, and agriculture. The findings of the report reinforce the need for global cooperation and decisive action to mitigate the most severe impacts of climate change and protect our planet's future. The window of opportunity to take meaningful action is rapidly closing, and it is crucial that we act now to create a more sustainable future for ourselves and for generations to come.



2. The impact of fossil fuels

The burning of fossil fuels, coupled with unsustainable energy and land use, has led to a global warming of 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels. This increase in temperature has resulted in more frequent and intense extreme weather events, leading to increasingly dangerous impacts on both nature and people in every region of the world. The consequences of climate change are far-reaching and include rising sea levels, more severe droughts, and devastating wildfires, among other things. The urgent need to transition away from high polluting energy and fuel cannot be overstated, as the continued use of unsustainable practices will only exacerbate these problems. We must view the transition to decarbonised forms of energy not only as a positive but an urgent necessity.

3. The importance of achieving climate justice through climate-resilient development

Climate justice is a critical issue, as those who have contributed the least to climate change are being impacted the most. Additionally, nearly half of the world's population lives in regions that are highly vulnerable to climate change, which only exacerbates the issue. The key to solving this problem lies in climate-resilient development, which involves incorporating measures to adapt to climate change while simultaneously working to reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions in ways that provide broader benefits. Climate-resilient development is crucial as it helps communities to better prepare for and withstand the effects of climate change while simultaneously working towards a more sustainable future.


4. Inclusive governance is required

Political commitment, coordinated policies, international cooperation, ecosystem stewardship, and inclusive governance are all crucial for achieving effective and equitable climate action. To combat climate change, it is essential to implement policies that promote sustainable development, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and preserve natural ecosystems. International cooperation is vital to ensure that all countries work together towards a common goal. Additionally, ecosystem stewardship, including the conservation of approximately 30-50% of the Earth's land, freshwater, and oceans, is crucial for ensuring a healthy planet. This requires inclusive governance that ensures the participation of all stakeholders, including local communities and indigenous peoples. By prioritising effective and equitable climate action, we can create a more sustainable and resilient future for all.

Lastly, here's some uplifting news: a multitude of solutions to our current challenges are readily accessible today and have the potential to positively impact various aspects of our lives. Not only do they address health, equity, justice, biodiversity, and economic concerns, but they also enhance our resilience and expedite the shift towards a sustainable, clean energy future.


Read the longer report here: https://report.ipcc.ch/ar6syr/pdf/IPCC_AR6_SYR_LongerReport.pdf

See all the IPCC Synthesis Figures here: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/syr/figures/

Greenstone & GHG emissions - how Greenstone can help with targets

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Greenstone’s sustainability reporting software includes an enhanced Targets functionality in the Environment module. Science-based targets, net-zero targets and consumption and emissions targets can be tracked and monitored over time using Greenstone’s targets dashboards.