IPCC AR 6 Synthesis Report

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Source: The post is based on the following articles

– “IPCC AR 6 Synthesis Report” published in PIB on 20th March 2023.

– “U.N. panel calls for rapid action against climate change to secure a liveable future”  published in The Hindu on 21st March 2023.

– “India faces highest risk of climate change: IPCC”  published in the Business Standard on 21st March 2023.

What is the News?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) has released AR6 Synthesis Report: Climate Change 2023.

What is a Synthesis Report?

The Synthesis Report (SYR) is the culmination of a cycle of reports (the Sixth Assessment) that have been published over the past five years.

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What are the key findings of the Synthesis Report?

Temperature breaching the 1.5C threshold: Average temperatures have already touched 1.1°C (about 1.07°C was contributed by human activities) above pre-industrial times.

By 2030 there is a 50% chance that global surface temperature in any single year could exceed 1.5°C.

The world is still not doing enough to limit global temperatures from breaching the 1.5C threshold despite there being multiple, feasible and effective options to do so.

Overshooting 1.5°C will result in irreversible adverse impacts on certain ecosystems with low resilience, such as polar, mountain, coastal ecosystems, etc.

To keep within the 1.5°C limit, emissions need to be reduced by at least 43% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels, and at least 60% by 2035. This is the decisive decade to make that happen.

Impact of Climate Change: Adverse climate impacts are already more far-reaching and extreme than anticipated. 

About half of the global population currently contends with severe water scarcity for at least one month per year, while higher temperatures are enabling the spread of vector-borne diseases, such as malaria, West Nile virus and Lyme disease. 

Climate change has also slowed improvements in agricultural productivity in middle and low latitudes, with crop productivity growth shrinking by a third in Africa since 1961. 

Carbon dioxide(CO2) emissions: CO2 is the primary GHG and needs to be drastically reduced. The report mentions that for every 1000 GtCO2 emitted by human activity, global surface temperature rises by 0.45°C (best estimate, with a likely range from 0.27 to 0.63°C). 

Finance: Finance flows from developed to developing countries fall short of the levels needed to meet climate goals across all sectors and regions. 

– It also acknowledges that in 2018, public and publicly mobilized private climate finance flows from developed to developing countries were below the collective goal under the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement to mobilize USD 100 billion per year by 2020.

What does the Synthesis report say about India?

Synthesis Report
Source: TOI

Despite minimal contribution to global warming over the past century, India is among the countries that face the highest risk from climate change’s impact, ranging from heat waves to cyclones and urban and rural displacement.

India is the hotbed of global climate investment but it needs to distribute equally to adaptation, along with mitigation efforts in the clean energy space.

The report also echoes the Prime Minister’s vision for “LiFE”, or Lifestyle for Environment, which is a global mass movement for promoting environmentally friendly lifestyles to protect and preserve the environment.

What are the recommendations given by the Synthesis Report?

Need for better quantification of losses and damages, which will enable policymakers to negotiate better.

Climate justice is crucial because those who have contributed least to climate change are being disproportionately affected.

The world must not emit more than 500 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent after 2020.

The strategies to counter climate change needed to be rooted in diverse values, including scientific knowledge, indigenous knowledge and local knowledge.

Apart from public finance (includes the promised but never received $100 billion), other avenues including private finance, local finance, national and international, bilateral, and multilateral finance need to be explored.

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