Commenting on the latest report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Friends of the Earth Scotland Head of Campaigns Mary Church said:

“The latest IPCC report makes for deeply alarming reading in confirming that the impacts of climate breakdown are more widespread, happening much sooner and having more devastating consequences than previously predicted. Tragically, this will come as no surprise to the millions of people fighting for their lives and livelihoods who are on the sharpest end of the all too frequent devastation wrought by the floods, fires, droughts and extreme weather events worldwide.

“The gross injustice of the situation is that the climate crisis is hitting the poorest and most vulnerable people the hardest even though they didn’t create it.

“With current global commitments to climate action putting us on a pathway to a hellish 2.7oC warming, the report highlights the terrible risks of even temporarily overshooting the critical 1.5oC threshold of warming. It warns of the threat of triggering tipping points, turning many of nature’s carbon sinks into carbon sources, and rendering damage to ecosystems we rely on for life itself beyond repair.

“Following all the backslapping at COP26 this report is a stark reminder of the reality of the climate crisis and must serve as a wake up call to governments relying on vague 2050 net zero goals, pathways that overshoot 1.5oC and fantasy techno-fixes. With barely a decade left before we reach this critical threshold we urgently need to focus on the solutions we know are necessary including a rapid and just phase out of fossil fuels.

“Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Glasgow and worldwide last November demanding a response to the climate crisis that puts justice at the heart of domestic and international efforts, transforming our economic, energy, and food systems and putting people and nature over profit.”

Commenting on reports that developed countries, led by the US have attempted to remove references to losses and damages in the report, Meena Raman, Friends of the Earth Malaysia, commented:

“It is a disgrace that decades of cowardly decisions by rich industrial nations have led us here, to the brink of climate catastrophe laid bare in this latest IPCC Assessment Report. The United States in particular must accept its role in creating the climate impacts we’re experiencing right now.

“Developed countries’ attempts to remove the concept of loss and damage, and the finance for it from the IPCC report, were largely thwarted, but we condemn this resistance by those most responsible for the climate crisis. This has been a shameless attempt to wriggle off the hook.

“Scientists have confirmed that much more finance must urgently flow from developed to developing countries, to enable the latter to adapt and adjust to irreparable damage from climate impacts. This funding is necessary to secure the wellbeing of their citizens and economies. Without it, our hard-fought progress for equity, equality, rights and justice will unravel.”

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

IPCC report https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sixth-assessment-report-working-group-ii/
https://report.ipcc.ch/ar6wg2/pdf/IPCC_AR6_WGII_SummaryForPolicymakers.pdf

Friends of the Earth Scotland is:
* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 73 national member groups, and 5,000 local activist groups.