Impacts of global warming are now simply “irreversible”, threat imminent, says new IPCC report


The new report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change could put many who still speculate on whether global warming is real or a hoax.

Many of the impacts of global warming are now simply “irreversible” according to the UN’s latest assessment. But the authors of a new report say that there is still a brief window of time to avoid the very worst.

The IPCC report which was released on Monday, February 28, says that humans and nature are being pushed beyond their abilities to adapt.

UN Environment Program (UNEP) Executive Director Inger Andersen warned the report comes out at a time of great turmoil, when the world needs strong multilateralism to promote peace and a healthy environment.

“And the message this report sends is clear. Climate change isn’t lurking around the corner, waiting to pounce. It’s already upon us, raining down blows on billions of people,” she said in her press briefing.

The findings shows that communities around the world are being affected by climate change at a magnitude worse than expected. The devastating impacts of climate disasters are affecting every part of the world.

As the UN Secretary-General António Guterres said today “Today’s IPCC report is an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership.”

Many of the changes are at risk of becoming irreversible. On our current trajectory, the world is set to breach the 1.5 °C safe global temperature limit by the early 2030s, spiraling to dangerous levels of disaster risk. Almost half the human population is already in the danger zone

Ministers of Environment and other representatives from over 150 nations convened in the Kenyan capital on Monday to launch the three-day hybrid resumed fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5.2).

“We are seeing dangerous disruption across the natural world. Species are migrating in search of more liveable conditions. In climate risk hotspots, deaths from floods, droughts and storms were 15 times higher than those in more resilient countries over the last decade,” Andersen said.

“All of this, and more, at only 1.1 degrees Celsius of global warming. Even if we limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the blows will come harder and faster. As things stand, we are heading for closer to 3 degrees Celsius. We are in an emergency, heading for a disaster.

It is incomprehensible that we knowingly continue to sow the seeds of our own destruction, despite the science and evidence that we are turning our only home into an uninhabitable hell for millions of people.

The IPCC report points to many solutions on improving regional and local information, providing sound data and knowledge for decision-makers. This does work. Countries have succeeded in saving many lives through improved early warning systems and preparedness.

But climate disasters will undoubtedly worsen. There are very low levels of investments in disaster prevention and disaster risk reduction for the world’s most vulnerable countries on the front lines of impacts. We need to ramp up investment in disaster prevention if we are to cope with the exponential rise of disaster events in recent decades.

Governments need to make disaster resilience a priority through dedicated funding to prevention.

Amid concern over intensifying hostilities in Ukraine and a call by the UN Secretary-General for an immediate ceasefire, the UN Environment Assembly kicked off with high hopes to advance a global agreement on plastic pollution, among a series of draft resolutions on biodiversity and health, green economy, and circularity.

The Assembly will be followed by “UNEP@50,” a two-day Special Session of the Assembly marking UNEP’s 50th anniversary where Member States are expected to address how to build a resilient and inclusive post-pandemic world.