A review of the latest IPCC report of 2023

If there is one report on climate change that you need to review, it is this one. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the synthesis report under its Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) on 20 March 2023. The report summarises the state of knowledge of climate change, its widespread impacts and risks, and climate change mitigation and adaptation, based on the peer-reviewed scientific, technical and socio-economic literature since the publication of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) in 2014 and the 2018 IPPC report. The next one will be in 2030…

“Global Warming is more likely to trail beyond 1.5°C under any scenario.”

Here are the key takeaways from the IPCC Report #6:

  • Human activity is the cause of global warming: unsustainable energy use, land use, land use change, lifestyles and patterns of consumption and production have and are unequivocally causing emissions and resulting in the warning of the climate system.
  • Across sectors and regions, the most vulnerable people and systems have been disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change. Climate change has impacted human and natural systems across the world with those who have generally least contributed to climate change being the most vulnerable.  
  • Impacts on the planet (inadvertently people as well): Climate change has caused substantial damages, and increasingly irreversible lossesin terrestrial, freshwater, cryospheric and coastal and open ocean ecosystems. The extent and magnitude of climate change impacts are larger than estimated in previous assessments. Such impacts will only accelerate with time.
  • Impacts on people: Climate change hasadversely affected human physical health globally and mental health in assessed regions, and is contributing to humanitarian crises where climate hazards interact with high vulnerability and could result in displacements. Such impacts will only accelerate with time.
  • Impacts on business: As a result of the delay in implementing mitigation and adaptation measures businesses will increasingly face compounded risks resulting from unforeseen circumstances, escalation in costs, loss and damages.

What Next: 

  • Mitigation: Reduce greenhouse emissions, in a deep, rapid, sustained and immediate manner, with the aims of reaching net zero by 2050.
  • Accelerated adaptation and transition across all sectors and systems: This will require considerable upfront investment and disruptive changes in existing economic structures.
  • Prioritizing “equity, climate justice, social justice, inclusion and just transition processes”.
  • The IPCC calls for a stronger political commitment, aligned governance, institutional frameworks, laws, policies and strategies.

“The cumulative scientific evidence is unequivocal: climate change is a threat to human well-being and planetary health (very high confidence). Any further delay in concerted anticipatory global action on adaptation and mitigation will miss a brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all (very high confidence).”

In Conclusions:

This 2023 IPCC report is to be closely read together with the 2018 IPCC report showing the BIG GAPS to expect between a 1.5 and a 2 degree trajectory. Every 0,1 degree is gold.

6th IPCC report is therefore confirming the following trends:

1. We’re on a 3.2°C threat – which really is a disaster.
2. Energy infrastructure emissions exceed the remaining carbon budget – which makes it easy to draw quick conclusions about the development of new such carbon intensive infrastructures.
3. A 34% decrease of methane emissions is needed, meaning among other things that meat AND dairy supply chains have to work significantly harder
4. Preventing maladaptation to climate change is needed. Growing canicular or droughts we can increasingly experience in our daily lives nowadays will no doubt make it more exponential.
5. Wind and solar, the only accessible and short-term solutions. For the few people on earth who believe in nuclear energy, well this is too expensive, too limited and too long term a solution to be a serious option which by the way is not necessarily able to navigate the maladaptation climate change issue by the way.
6. Mitigation investments need to be multiplied by 3 to 6.

No government. No company closely aligning plans to the 6 trends highlighted here is credible any longer. Thank you IPCC community for bringing this clarity!

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Author of several books and resources on business, sustainability and responsibility. Working with top decision makers pursuing transformational changes for their organizations, leaders and industries. Working with executives improving resilience and competitiveness of their company and products given their climate and human right business agendas. Connect with Farid Baddache on Twitter at @Fbaddache.

Krystel Bassil
Senior Consultant, Business and Human Rights | more posts

Krystel is senior consultant, contributing to Ksapa’s consulting and advocacy missions, on the topic of business & human rights and more generally sustainability. Krystel Bassil is also Senior Legal Officer of the Human Rights and Business Unit at the Syrian Legal Development Programme (SLDP). Prior to that Krystel worked as a business and human rights consultant advising along with leading experts on a wide range of projects across the private sector, international organizations, and academic institutions. She is admitted to the Beirut Bar and worked as a lawyer in international arbitration and human rights. Krystel holds a LL.M. degree from SOAS, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, a law degree in public law from the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, Lebanon, and a degree in political science from the Saint-Joseph University of Beirut. She is fluent in French, English and Arabic.

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