If immediate, rapid and deep emission cuts are not undertaken in the next decade, limiting global warming to 1.5°C will be beyond reach, says the latest report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), who is the largest international scientific body. Recent changes in the climate are widespread, rapid, intensifying and unprecedented.
The report says that: human activities are responsible for the warming since the industrial era and with current emissions of about 40Gt per year, on average over the next 20 years global warming could go beyond 1.5 oC of warming.
For small island states like the Maldives, most vulnerable to climate change, the impact of this level of climate change will be devastating. Monsoon precipitation is changing in complex ways in response to the effects of both greenhouse gases and aerosols. Climate change is intensifying, bringing more intense rainfall and associated flooding and also severe drought in many regions. More frequent, severe coastal flooding and erosion will occur due to continued sea level rise throughout the 21st century. Sea level events that previously occurred once in 100 years could happen every year by the end of this century.
At 2°C of global warming, heat extremes would more often reach critical tolerance levels for health and agriculture threatening the food security.However, the report also concluded that if very significant and sustained greenhouse gas emissions reductions could be brought, these changes could be limited, but it will take at least 20-30 years to see the impact of these reductions including improvement of air quality.
Speaking on the release of the Report Maldives Minister of Environment and Climate Change Aminath Shauna stated “The IPCC Report is a welcome addition to an already growing body of scientific evidence detailing the catastrophic nature of climate change. The report confirms what small countries such as the Maldives have been saying all along – that climate change is the single biggest existential threat to us. We need urgent and immediate action to reduce our emissions to prevent further humanitarian, economic and health crises. The time act was yesterday, the next best time to act is now. Maldives may be small, but we are committed to do our part. Which is why we are focussing on decarbonising our economy and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels starting with our energy sector.’
IPCC released the report of the Working Group 1 (WG1) under its 6th Assessment Report (AR6). This report is about the physical sciences of climate change assessing the past, present and future climate change and the likelihood impacts. The report was approved last Friday by 196 countries after deliberations over 2 weeks since 26 of July via an online approval session due to the ongoing COVID19 pandemic. This is the first ever report to be approved online by IPCC. The report was compiled by 234 authors from 66 countries with 517 contributing authors.
The report can be accessed from :
Summary for Policymakers of the Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) as well as additional materials and information are available at