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VIDEO: IPCC’s Synthesis Report: Dire situation for the planet

March 23, 2023

The Week in Sustainability – March 20–24

Looking at the recent news coverage of the latest IPCC report, some fitting descriptors of the dire situation this report outlines include: 

  •  A runaway train 
  • Climate time bomb 
  • The fast lane of the carbon-intensive super-highway 

The most recent IPCC Synthesis Report warns that climate change is a dire and urgent problem that requires immediate and sustained action. The report states climate-related crises are extremely likely to occur, as outlined. The planet has already warmed by 1.1ºC (2ºF), with warming of 1.5 ºC (2.7ºF) expected by 2030, which is a cause for concern. Changes are happening too fast for humans and other species to adapt, which could cause public health concerns such as famine, heat illness, and infectious diseases fueled by climate change.

To address the issue, it is necessary to stop burning fossil fuels, which cause 75% of global GHG emissions. Developed countries should eliminate carbon emissions by 2040 at the latest, and there should be more investment in CCS tech. End-use measures like sustainable diets and minimizing fossil fuel use from flying and driving can have a huge impact. Effective local, municipal, national, and subnational policies are needed, and regulations can force laggards to cut emissions. Companies can achieve cost-effective solutions by implementing efficiency in buildings, transport, and other systems and accelerating the pace of rapid renewable energy deployment.

Barriers to adaptation include a lack of private sector and citizen engagement, lack of political will, low climate literacy, insufficient mobilization of finance, and lack of a sense of urgency. The report calls for immediate and sustained action to address these barriers because climate extremes become more widespread with every bit of additional warming.

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  1. The New York Times, “A Clear Message From Science,” Accessed March 23, 2023
  2. IPCC, “AR6 Synthesis Report: Climate Change 2023,” Accessed March 23, 2023
Editorial statement
At Sustain.Life, our goal is to provide the most up-to-date, objective, and research-based information to help readers make informed decisions. Written by practitioners and experts, articles are grounded in research and experience-based practices. All information has been fact-checked and reviewed by our team of sustainability professionals to ensure content is accurate and aligns with current industry standards. Articles contain trusted third-party sources that are either directly linked to the text or listed at the bottom to take readers directly to the source.
Constanze Duke
Constanze Duke is a director of sustainability at Sustain.Life and leads the company’s technical practice. She began working in sustainability in 2007 and has worked through sustainability’s dramatic evolution into a multi-faceted discipline.
Alyssa Rade
Alyssa Rade is the chief sustainability officer at Sustain.Life. She has over ten years of corporate sustainability experience and guides Sustain.Life’s platform features.
The takeaway

The latest IPCC report calls for immediate and sustained action to address these barriers because climate extremes become more widespread with every bit of additional warming.

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