The new IPCC report, launched this morning, is a severe warning to humanity and all life on Earth. The science in the report builds on 30 years of previous work by the world’s most authoritative climate science body, and warns that time is quickly running out to meet the 1.5°C target established in the Paris Agreement.
Zoe Quiroz-Cullen, Director, Climate and Nature Linkages, at Fauna & Flora International, said: “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report brings clarity and certainty: certainty that our climate is changing rapidly, with devastating effects, and that we are the cause – but also certainty that it is still, just, within our gift to hold off the worst effects if we act quickly and decisively to cut emissions and protect the natural world.
“Time is not on our side. This is a report signed off by the world’s governments; collectively it is they that must now act, with drastic cuts to carbon emissions from energy and other sectors this decade, to keep global warming within 1.5°C this century. To reach that goal, we must also see an urgent halt to the destruction of natural ecosystems. Deforestation not only releases carbon into the atmosphere, it robs us of the natural carbon sinks that will be essential to help us reach net zero emissions and to guarantee long-term climate resilience.
“The report spells out a fundamental truth: that the protection and restoration of nature and the fight against climate change are two sides of the same coin. By saving habitats and species, we save ourselves. So governments and businesses should now focus far more energy and spending on protecting what we have. Safeguarding an existing forest locks up more carbon than planting a new one.
“There is much left to fight for, but we must act now. The UN COP26 climate summit in Glasgow needs to be a turning point in this vital decade for the future of our planet, our one home.”