IPCC report expected to ignite efforts on climate change

The latest climate review from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is expected to confirm and highlight the drivers of climate change and kick-start action from businesses and Governments.

The IPCC will convene in Stockholm next week to finalise the Fifth Assessment Report, which is expected to give more clarity on the science and increased certainty about the causes of climate change.

It will include contributions from more than 800 scientists from around the world who have written a “compelling scientific account of the state of the earth”, says WWF global climate and energy initiative leader, Samantha Smith.

“The report is going to underscore a terrifying reality – that the earth is warming at an alarming rate and that these temperature changes are already having serious consequences for both people and planet,” she says.

“Our natural world is sending a distress signal and we’re ignoring it at our own peril. But if governments act now, comprehensively and immediately, they will be able to do something to change the dangerous path we are on”, she says.

Smith blamed the energy sector, calling it the “main culprit” causing runaway climate change but added that the sector also holds the solution to the challenge.

“We expect this report to confirm again that burning fossil fuels is driving dangerous climate change. Extraction of fossil fuels is also increasingly a driver for direct loss of biodiversity. But at the same time, renewable energy provides a straightforward, proven and increasingly affordable and safe solution, with far fewer direct impacts,” she said.

The findings from the review are expected to boost action amongst businesses following a lull in progress.

Earlier today, the UN released its Global Compact report which warned that business is not playing its part in forging a sustainable future and efforts may have “reached a plateau”.

The UN report, which surveyed more than 1,000 CEOs across the world, found that this plateau has been due to the pace required to address global challenges while achieving business success.

CEOs are calling for active intervention by governments and policymakers, in collaboration with business, to align public policy on the challenges of a changing environment.

Friends of the Earth international climate justice and energy coordinator Dipti Bhatnagar said: “We have all the evidence we need, we even have the solutions to tackling the climate crisis, what we don’t have is the political will of our leaders. This is a wake-up call for them to put the interests of people and the planet before those of dirty energy corporations”.

Leigh Stringer

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