Climate Change

New IPCC report will strengthen science on links between biodiversity loss, climate change: UNEP

The report, which is in the final stages of production, will be released February 28

By Kiran Pandey
Published: Tuesday 15 February 2022
UNEP Executive Director, Inger Andersen at the 55th session of the IPCC. Photo: @IPCC_CH / Twitter
UNEP Executive Director, Inger Andersen at the 55th session of the IPCC. Photo: @IPCC_CH / Twitter UNEP Executive Director, Inger Andersen at the 55th session of the IPCC. Photo: @IPCC_CH / Twitter

The Working Group II report of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment (AR6), to be released at the end of the month, will strengthen science on the links between biodiversity loss and climate change, Inger Andersen, executive director, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), said February 14, 2022.

Andersen was speaking during the 55th Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), scheduled to run until February 25.

Close to 200 countries came together virtually during the session to approve the Working Group II contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report titled Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation & Vulnerability. This will be the second instalment of the IPCC’s AR6.

The report prepared by IPCC’s Working Group II builds on the Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report released in August last year.

More than 270 scientists from 65 countries have contributed to the report, which references 84,000 scientific papers.

The outline of the WG II report approved by the IPCC in September 2017 covered diverse issues including migration linked to climate change and interactions of climate risks with urban and rural change processes, including food energy-water-health nexus.

The report brings more knowledge at local and regional levels from Africa, Asia, Australasia, Central and South America, Europe, North America and small island states too.

This is the final phase of a strict and meticulous review process of the report assessing impacts, adaptation and vulnerability to climate change, integrated across scientific disciplines inclusive of diverse forms of knowledge, Chair of the IPCC, Hoesung Lee in his opening statement.

The governments and scientists together will scrutinise the Summary for Policymakers line-by-line over the next two weeks.

To drive action

The stakes in the fight against global warming are higher than ever. So, the IPCC WG II report to be released on February 28, 2022, will be critically important for policymakers around the world according to the IPCC chair.

The findings of the report on climate impact, adaptation and vulnerability will also strengthen international action for climate action, nature and a pollution free planet — the core theme of United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) scheduled online and in Nairobi February 28- March 2, 2022.

Petteri Taalas, secretary-general, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), in his opening statement to the IPCC Working Group II said, “The IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC was a game changer. But the 1.5°C target is barely alive. The work needs to continue.”

In 2021, the global fossil fuel emissions rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, the Global Carbon Budget 2021 showed.

 “We have been doping the atmosphere. Our doping has been the use of fossil fuels and that has already led to an increase in disasters and their human and economic impact and biospheric impact,” Taalas said.

According to WMO, around 4.5 billion inhabitants of this planet or 60 per cent of population in the world have experienced a major weather-related disaster during the past 20 years. The melting of glaciers and sea level rise is unfortunately going to last much longer than earlier estimated.

According to Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the WG II report is important for assessing current adaptation efforts.

It is important for identifying future challenges and opportunities to support countries moving forward and inform the Global Stocktake and global goal on adaptation.

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