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venerdì, Luglio 19, 2024

IPCC report on climate adaptation: actions required more urgently than ever

ROME, MARCH 1 – The United Nations body designated to assess the scientific explanation and effects of climate change, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), just published the annual assessment report on “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability”. The report “assesses the impacts of climate change, looking at ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities at global and regional levels, and also reviews vulnerabilities and the capacities and limits of the natural world and human societies to adapt to climate change”. The 3500-page document recognises the interdependence of human action, climate, ecosystems and biodiversity and underlines the huge impact of our society on the environment that surrounds and hosts us.

© Jason Hawkes/Getty Images

While the effects of this impact are visible and widespread, from the oceans’ waters to the mountains’ glaciers, in villages and metropolis, from rural to coastal areas, what the report highlights, against many’s beliefs, is that humanity might not be adapting to these changes as fast as they happen. States are only doing half of their job in establishing targets and goals that are still incremental while society needs transformational changes in order to cope with the irreversible damages that affect our ecosystem.

Moreover, no continent, region or state is emerging unscathed from climate change. The report highlights the unusual and devastating floods which hit Germany and China, wildfires which incinerated massive ‘green lungs’ in Siberia and Australia, the rising temperatures which threaten crops and agricultural production and cause water scarcity, an issue that currently affects almost half of the world’s population. Not to mention the result of what most impacted the planet’s life in the last two years, namely the Covid-19 pandemic, which alongside the spread of contagious diseases like malaria and dengue is considered one of the highest risks for the human population in the future.

The sad news is that, as often, people with less resources are much more affected and bear the cost. Climate change becomes therefore another manifestation of social injustice. “I’ve seen many reports, but nothing like the new IPCC climate report, an atlas of human suffering & damning indictment of failed climate leadership”, said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres upon publishing of the report. Climate is still at the top of the UN’s agenda and the next focal meeting will take place in Egypt in November.

Finally, the positive notes. First is the strong involvement of the youth movement in the rising wave of awareness on the devastating effects of climate change, with Italy at the forefront thanks to the co-sponsorship of the last COP26 and the side-event Youth4Climate which took place in Milan. Also, the death rate of people during floods, storms and extreme weather events has been considerably reduced thanks to disaster management and relief strategies, but the report stresses that rising temperatures will make more and more difficult to intervene in the future. (@GiorgiodelGallo)

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