We’re running out of ways to adapt to the climate crisis, new report shows. Here are the key takeaways.
By Rachel Ramirez, CNN
Climate change is on course to transform life on Earth as we know it, and unless global warming is dramatically slowed, billions of people and other species will reach points where they can no longer adapt to the new normal, according to a major report published Monday.
The UN-backed report, based on years of research from hundreds of scientists, found that the impacts from human-caused climate change were larger than previously thought. The report’s authors say these impacts are happening much faster and are more disruptive and widespread than scientists expected 20 years ago.
The authors point to enormous inequities in the climate crisis, finding that those who contribute the least to the problem are the worst affected, and warn of irreversible impacts if the world exceeds 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres called the report “an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership,” and he warned that “delay means death.”
“The facts are undeniable. This abdication of leadership is criminal,” Guterres said in a statement. “The world’s biggest polluters are guilty of arson of our only home.”
He also said that “current events” showed the world was too reliant of fossil fuels, calling them “a dead end,” in an apparent reference to the Ukraine conflict and energy crisis.
Here are the report’s key takeaways:
- Warming beyond 1.5 degrees could have irreversible consequences
- We’re running out of ways to adapt
- Up to 3 billion people will experience ‘chronic water scarcity’
- The people who are least responsible are the most affected
- We can still avoid the worst