UN report expected to give the starkest warning yet of the devastating impacts in store if world fails to curb climate change

We must acknowledge what the impacts of delayed implementation of governments’ climate targets will really mean for people and nature, says WWF’s Dr Stephen Cornelius.

On Monday, the virtual approval session begins for the latest climate science report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report is expected to outline the severe impacts of a warming world on natural and human systems and how adaptation can help reduce vulnerability and manage climate risks. It is expected to make the devastating consequences of climate change for people and nature clearer than ever. 

The new report follows in the wake of the COP26 UN climate talks in Glasgow, where world leaders failed to close some significant gaps in the global response to the climate crisis.

Dr Stephen Cornelius, WWF Global Lead for IPCC said: “The upcoming climate report from the IPCC is expected to lay bare the devastating impacts that delayed action and weak implementation of countries’ climate promises are having on people and nature.

“Over the past year we’ve seen more examples of the ruin to lives and livelihoods caused by more frequent extreme events, from heatwaves to floods and wildfires. This offers a small glimpse of what a warmer world brings. We know that to help communities and ecosystems now and in the years to come, governments need to invest more to build climate resilience and to slash polluting carbon emissions to give adaptation a fighting chance.”


Notes for editors:

  1. The IPCC Working Group II report - Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability Summary for Policymakers (‘SPM’) will be discussed line-by-line by governments at a two-week virtual approval session starting 14 February.  If approved, the SPM and the several-thousand-page scientific assessment report will be released on 28 February 2022 at 10am CET.

  2. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) 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 II report is the second of four parts of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). The Working Group I report (physical science of climate change) was released in August 2021, while the Working Group III report (mitigation of climate change) will be released in April 2022. The Synthesis Report which brings together information from all three working group reports will be released in October 2022.

For more information, contact:

Lauren Duvel - lduvel@wwfint.org

Mandy Jean Woods - mwoods@wwfint.org 

WWF International Media team - news@wwfint.org 

A man pushes a bike down a flooded street in Thailand, 2015

A man pushes a bike down a flooded street in Thailand, 2015

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