Responding to the publication today of the IPCC’s Working Group III report on climate change mitigation, Oxfam’s Climate Policy Lead Nafkote Dabi said:
“This IPCC report pulls no punches. The bleak and brutal truth about global warming is this: barring action on a sweeping scale, humanity faces worsening hunger, disease, economic collapse, mass migration of people and unbearable heat. It’s not about taking our foot off the accelerator anymore —it’s about slamming on the brakes. A warming planet is humanity’s biggest emergency.
“No amount of adaptation can compensate for the terrible consequences of failing to hit the Paris goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C. This is a survival target and it remains within our grasp, but just barely. After a dip in 2020, carbon emissions that fuel climate change have bounced back to pre-pandemic levels. We need extraordinary cuts in the use of fossil fuels to meet our emissions targets, and that entails a dramatic shift towards sustainable renewable energy. The recent push to increase production of oil, gas and coal and backtrack on climate measures because of the crisis in Ukraine —and even to delay net-zero— is shortsighted folly.
“Climate change is causing extreme weather disasters now and their costs are piling up. But these costs do not hit everyone equally. People living in poverty are suffering first and worst. Farmers in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia have lost crops and entire herds of livestock to an exceptionally long and severe drought. Millions of people in East Africa are now on the brink of a hunger catastrophe. Meanwhile the richest people who have massive carbon footprints are turning up the air-conditioning on their mega yachts.
“The other clear message from this report is that every single action to cut emissions counts and every fraction of a degree matters. The world is currently heading for 2.7°C of warming under current plans. That is a death sentence for climate-vulnerable countries like Vanuatu and Bangladesh. Wealthy countries are disproportionately responsible for the climate crisis and they have the double responsibility to both cut emissions at home and to support developing countries with the costs of replanting crops and rebuilding homes after storms, and moving from dirty energy forms to cleaner, lower-carbon ones.
“This monumental climate report is distressing but it is not surprising. Scientists and the IPCC have been warning governments of this danger for decades. Our future lies in the decisions we make today. We cannot tackle climate change later. We must clamp down on emissions now or face more catastrophic climate disasters, season after season.”
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