On the Go

UN report: Delay in climate action could deny humans a livable future

Vivian Chime

A new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations (UN) body, says if urgent actions are not taken on human-induced climate change, humanity could risk not having a livable future. 

In a statement issued on Monday, the IPCC said the report is the result of a five-year research by scientists and is the second part of the IPCC’s sixth assessment report on climate change. 

The report stated that about half of the global population – between 3.3 billion and 3.6 billion people –currently  live in areas “highly vulnerable” to climate change.

“The world faces unavoidable multiple climate hazards over the next two decades with global warming of 1.5°C (2.7°F). Increased heat waves, droughts and floods are already exceeding plants’ and animals’ tolerance thresholds, driving mass mortalities in species such as trees and corals,” the statement reads.


“These weather extremes are occurring simultaneously, causing cascading impacts that are increasingly difficult to manage. They have exposed millions of people to acute food and water insecurity, especially in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, on Small Islands and in the Arctic.

“To avoid mounting loss of life, biodiversity and infrastructure, ambitious, accelerated action is required to adapt to climate change, at the same time as making rapid, deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. 

“So far, progress on adaptation is uneven and there are increasing gaps (largest among lower-income populations) between action taken and what is needed to deal with the increasing risks, the new report finds.”


Hoesung Lee, chair of the IPCC, said the report shows the consequences of inaction, adding that half measures are no longer an option.

“This report is a dire warning about the consequences of inaction. It shows that climate change is a grave and mounting threat to our wellbeing and a healthy planet. Our actions today will shape how people adapt and nature responds to increasing climate risks,” he said. 

“The scientific evidence is unequivocal: climate change is a threat to human wellbeing and the health of the planet. Any further delay in concerted global action will miss a brief and rapidly closing window to secure a livable future,

“This report recognizes the interdependence of climate, biodiversity and people and integrates natural, social and economic sciences more strongly than earlier IPCC assessments.

“It emphasizes the urgency of immediate and more ambitious action to address climate risks. Half measures are no longer an option.” 

This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.
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