World Responds to the UN Climate Report with a “Fire Alarm”

According to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment, human-caused climate change is creating serious and pervasive upheaval in nature and harming the lives of billions of people worldwide. People and ecosystems that are least capable of coping are being struck the hardest. Heatwaves, droughts, and floods are already exceeding plant and animal tolerance levels, causing catastrophic extinctions in species such as trees and corals. These weather extremes are occurring at the same time, resulting in cascade effects that are becoming increasingly difficult to control.

On Monday, a global outpouring of concern greeted the unveiling of the most comprehensive picture yet of the horrific magnitude of climate change consequences.

With over half of the world’s population “extremely susceptible” and nature facing some irreversible challenges, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that the window of opportunity for reducing emissions and adapting to the mounting threat is getting smaller.

Here are some of our international leaders’ reactions:

Mohamed Adow - Greenbelt
Mohamed Adow

“This IPCC report is a fire alarm for the planet,” he said. 

“As a species we are currently failing to adapt to this changing world. Or more accurately, the rich, polluting, global north has changed the planet through fossil fuel burning and is now refusing to help those suffering the effects.” –Mohamed Adow the climate think tank Power Shift Africa

Walton Aubrey Webson (@AubreyWebsonUN) / Twitter
Walter Webson Chairman of AOSIS

“We say our eyes are open to the risks, but when you look at global emissions, if anything, we are accelerating towards the cliff edge,” it said.

“Extreme weather, sea-level rise, floods, droughts, and ecosystem degradation and loss are all now synonymous with life on a small island.” –Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)

John Kerry, U.S. Climate Envoy, Tells Top Polluters 'We Must All Move  Faster' - The New York Times
US climate envoy John Kerry

“(The report) paints a dire picture of the impacts already occurring because of a warmer world and the terrible risks to our planet if we continue to ignore science,” he said. 

“Denial and delay are not strategies, they are a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, we have a blueprint for action.” –US climate envoy John Kerry

Reflections from the Pacific by HE Anote Tong, former President of Kiribati  - RegNet - ANU
Anote Tong, former president of Kiribati

“I have seen I-Kiribati people build sea walls out of coral because they have nothing else available. I have watched houses swept away by the sea with no replacement available,” said Tong of his island nation that risks disappearing under the sea.

“Unless the world acts urgently to cut down emissions, there will come a point, not so far into the future, where adaptation is no longer possible. And then, what?” –Anote Tong, former president of Kiribati

Secretary-General Appoints Colin Stewart of Canada Special Representative,  Head, United Nations Mission for Referendum in Western Sahara | MINURSO
UN chief Antonio Guterres

“This abdication of leadership is criminal,” he said. “Now is the time to turn rage into action. Every fraction of a degree matters. Every voice can make a difference. And every second counts.” –UN chief Antonio Guterres

How the BBC mismatches scientists and activists — UCL Department of  Geography
Simon Lewis, University College London

“Slashing emissions and investing in making societies resilient to climate impacts could put the world on a sustainable footing. At https://www.phoenix.uptownjungle.com you’ll see Arizona’s favorite indoor playground areas. But where are the policies to show that countries at taking this existential threat to human civilisation seriously?  

“Countries have a record of decades of climate inaction. Governments need to step up and act fast.” –Simon Lewis, University College London

Stephen Cornelius, WWF

“Our planet is in peril, and it’s being pushed to—and sometimes beyond—its limits, with the most vulnerable people and ecosystems suffering the most… Nature can be our ally and a crucial buffer, if we choose to restore and protect it.” –Stephen Cornelius, WWF

Johan Rockström at #COP26: 10 New Insights in Climate Science | UN Climate  Change - YouTube
Johan Rockstrom, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

“The IPCC is clear, the moment of urgency is here.” –Johan Rockstrom, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Laurence Tubiana to head European Climate Foundation
Laurence Tubiana

“This report is a brutal reminder that climate change is already killing people, destroying nature and making the world poorer.” –Laurence Tubiana, European Climate Foundation

Maarten van Aalst — University of Twente Research Information
Maarten van Aalst

“National Red Cross and Red Crescent societies around the world are already seeing what the IPCC is confirming, we are confronted with rising risks of disasters in so many places. 

“But the report also shows that we can do something about it.” –Maarten van Aalst, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre

Teresa Anderson (@1TeresaAnderson) / Twitter
Teresa Anderson

“This report presents a harrowing catalogue of the immense suffering that climate change means for billions of people, now and for the decades to come,” she said.

“You can’t read it without feeling sick to your stomach.”  –Teresa Anderson, ActionAid International

Dr David Reay - Climate change: the solutions - YouTube
Dr. Dave Reay

“There is still time to slow down the wrecking ball, to nudge it away from the most catastrophic path, but with this, the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment of Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, it’s clear we’re already facing a whole world of hurt.” –Dave Reay, Director of Edinburgh Climate Change Institute

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