IPCC Climate Change Report - August 2021
On 9th August, 2021, the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) has released the contributions from Working Group 1 to its Sixth Assessment Report. The results are less than positive, and serve as a veritable alarm bell for global leaders.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was created to provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments on climate change, its implications and potential future risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation options.
The current release is the first in a series of reports that will be published in the coming months and it is the first major review in the science of climate change since 2013. It is the work of ‘Workgroup I’, which consists of 234 authors from 66 countries, and focuses on assessing the physical scientific basis of the climate system and climate change. This report (Summary for Policymakers) comes less than 3 months before a key climate summit in Glasgow called Cop26 is to take place.
Yes, it’s our fault: First, the report lays out in black and white what has been widely known, but at times debated, that humans are to blame for Climate Change. To quote the IPCC, “It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land. There is no uncertainty language in this sentence, because there is no uncertainty that global warming is caused by human activity and the burning of fossil fuels”
Temperatures will continue to rise and weather will continue to get more extreme: Even with major emission cuts, it is unlikely that we will prevent global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures unless very deep reductions are made in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades. Without any major cuts, the temperature increase could even hit the 2℃ mark by the end of the century. As for the recent cases of extreme weather around the world, things don’t look too good either: “With every additional increment of global warming, changes in extreme conditions continue to become larger”.
Seas will continue to rise: The report concludes that sea levels are sure to keep rising, by a minimum of 2 to 3 meters, even if global warming were halted at 1.5℃. Additionally The Arctic is likely to be practically ice-free in September at least once before 2050 in all scenarios assessed.
We have already seen how extreme weather events can bring a country, not to mention its economy, to a grinding halt. To cite an example, the amount of money that insurers expect to pay for the 2020 hurricanes in Louisiana continues to grow, currently sitting at a reported $10 billion for claims. This is just from one state in the United States, and we are seeing hurricanes, flooding and wildfires at an alarming rate across the globe.
At WieldMore, we believe our commitment to sustainability is more important now than ever before. As a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI), we are committed to measuring and highlighting the positive environmental and societal impact of our investment decisions.