IPCC report highlights urgent need to scale up climate solutions to tackle rising emissions

Posted on 04 Apr 2022
A powerful new report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sets out the solutions that can limit global warming by transforming sectors including energy, industry, agriculture and land-use, buildings and transport.

The report - Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change - shows that greenhouse gas emissions between 2010 and 2019 were higher than any other decade in human history, and that we’re almost out of time to limit global warming to 1.5°C. It outlines the stark reality of climbing emissions, driven primarily by the polluting fossil fuels which still power much of the world’s energy systems and from carbon released when natural ecosystems are destroyed.

The report offers glimpses of different possible futures. It highlights that we have choices and mitigation options that can put us on lower-emissions pathways that result in fewer climate-related impacts and lead to more sustainable development. The cost of clean renewable energy technologies has dropped dramatically, and the roll-out of climate solutions including solar and wind power, electric vehicles and battery storage has accelerated in recent years - but much more needs to be done to phase out fossil fuels. The report confirms that protecting and restoring natural ecosystems offers huge mitigation potential by absorbing and locking away carbon from the atmosphere.

Dr Stephen Cornelius, WWF Global Lead for IPCC and Head of the WWF delegation observing the negotiations, said: “This report shows that while some sectors are heading in the right direction, climate change is moving faster than we are. We cannot hold on any longer to the polluting fossil fuels that are wrecking our climate and destroying the natural world on which we all depend.

“We will miss the crucial goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C unless we dramatically scale up climate solutions to rapidly cut greenhouse gas emissions. This means investing at scale in powering our societies more efficiently, using clean renewable energy, conserving and restoring nature, moving away from unsustainable business practices and leaving no one behind in this transition. Every moment, every policy, every investment, every decision matters to avoid further climate chaos.”

Dr Stephanie Roe, IPCC Lead Author and WWF Global Climate and Energy Lead Scientist, said: “The latest IPCC report finds that solutions are readily available across all sectors to more than halve emissions by 2030, in line with a 1.5ºC pathway. Moreover, a low-carbon economy can create more jobs overall, and there are many mitigation options with economic, societal and environmental benefits. Since the last report, technologies have significantly improved, and the costs of solutions like solar, wind and batteries have declined by up to 85%."

“Around 20 countries have shown they can reduce emissions through policy and economic measures, which have boosted energy efficiency, reduced rates of deforestation and increased renewable energy and low-carbon transportation. Some countries’ reductions are consistent with limiting warming to 2ºC, but none are yet on track for a 1.5ºC pathway. We clearly have the tools to tackle the climate crisis, but they need to be deployed more rapidly and at a larger scale to keep 1.5ºC within reach and reduce the severity of climate impacts.”

Notes for editors:

  1. The IPCC Working Group III report - Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change - Summary for Policymakers (SPM) is  released on 4 April 2022 at 5pm CEST.

  2. The IPCC is the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization in 1988 to provide political leaders with periodic scientific assessments concerning climate change, its implications and risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation strategies. 

  3. The Working Group III report is the third of four parts of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report. The Working Group I report (physical science of climate change) was released in August 2021 and the Working Group II report (impacts, adaptation and vulnerability) was released last month. 

  4. The Synthesis Report which brings together information from all three working group reports will be released in October 2022.


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