World Leaders Must Respond To IPCC's Harrowing Portrait Of A Future Under Extreme Climate Change


Governments have been handed a warning by the world’s leading climate scientists that society is vastly underprepared to deal with the increased risks posed by climate change impacts.

The second installment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report, released in Yokohama today, has warned that climate change is already negatively affecting every continent and the oceans. As climate change worsens, it will make people poorer, hungrier, and more ill as they contend with more extreme flooding, heat waves, and droughts.

Members of Climate Action Network provide the following comments on the launch of the report:

“The report talks about the economic cost of climate change. But the true cost of climate change cannot be represented just in monetary terms. There can be no cost put to losing a husband, a mother, a son or a daughter; there can be no cost to losing the home where our ancestors settled hundreds of years ago; there can be no cost to losing an ecosystem that sustains our life and the life of the earth we call home. This is the true cost of inaction on climate change.”
Sandeep Chamling Rai, Senior Adaptation Policy Advisor from WWF International.

“This report is clear: the impact of climate change on food is worse than previously estimated. We have already seen significant declines in global yields for staple crops like wheat and maize and food price spikes linked to extreme weather, and the picture is set to get much worse. Without urgent action on both adaptation and emissions reduction, the goal of ensuring everyone has enough to eat may be lost forever. Political leaders should ask themselves whether this will be the generation to let that happen.”
Tim Gore, Head of Policy, Advocacy and Research for the GROW campaign, Oxfam International.

“Asia is the most vulnerable continent to climate change, but it is not just developing countries in the region which are affected. Japan is already experiencing climate change and faces severe risks if action is not taken.  Japan imports about 60% of its food from overseas, thus climate impacts, like poor crops yields in other countries, will boost the price of food here – with inevitable negative consequences on our economy. This is not an issue somewhere far away, but an issue for us here.”
Kimiko Hirata, International Director, Kiko Network.

“Scientists are warning us, but they are not telling us to give up. The solutions are already here. A growing wave of people, communities, corporations and investors around the world are already making a difference by moving to clean and safe renewable energy and demanding governments to stand with them. There’s a better future than the one we are currently offered and it’s ours if we want to grasp it.”
Kaisa Kosonen, Senior Political Advisor, Greenpeace International.