IPCC Synthesis Report of the Sixth Assessment Cycle

Source– The post is based on the article “Latest climate report highlights challenges of attaining Paris Pact’s target” published in “The Indian Express” and “Defusing the climate bomb” on 25th  March 2023.

Syllabus: GS3- Environment

Relevance– Issues related to climate change

News– The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its final report of the sixth assessment cycle, titled “AR6 Synthesis Report: Climate Change 2023”

What are key findings of the IPCC Synthesis Report?

The GHG emissions have pushed the global average temperature up by nearly 1.2 degrees Celsius since 1850.

If no concrete action is taken on climate change, temperatures could rise to well above 2°C by the end of this century.

The pace of increase in GHG emissions has come down in the past five years. However, the world is close to exhausting its carbon budget. By the first half of the 2030s, the climate crisis could become irreversible.

To limit temperature increase below the threshold level of 1.5 degrees Celsius, temperatures must peak by 2025 and decline by 43% in the next five years.

The report is clear that an overshoot of the threshold level of 1.5 degrees Celsius is inevitable. But, deep and sustained cuts to fresh emissions that lead to net negative emissions after 2050 can bring the global heat down by 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

In 2014, Earth atmospheric concentration of CO2 was 397.45 ppm. In 2023, it is at 418 ppm. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations today are higher than at any time in at least 2 million years. The amount of methane in the atmosphere is the highest it has been for 800,000 years.

What is the relevance of the IPCC synthesis report?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its final report of the sixth assessment cycle, titled “AR6 Synthesis Report: Climate Change 2023”

The current discourse of extreme weather events has placed climate change in the public eye. Policymakers also understand its nuances. There is a lot more interest in science, a lot more appetite for action.  Despite this, climate action is “piecemeal and reactive”.

The report is a synthesis of knowledge on climate change, the magnitude of the problem, and its various solutions. The synthesis report is a repository of our best available climate science that is also policy-relevant.

The report has a list of options related to mitigation, adaptation for countries depending on their national circumstances. There is now enough scientific evidence for governments to act.

Such reports would also facilitate cross-learning between states, cities and regions. It is important to keep repeating the scientific warnings until there is meaningful action.

What is the way forward to tackle climate change?

There is a need for country-specific, or even region-specific, synthesis reports, especially for a country like India. There should be regular, institutionalised monitoring and progress of endeavours such as state action plans on climate change.

Climate issues must come on to party manifestos, into daily conversations in schools, and in our newsrooms. It’s a whole-of-society issue. It must be treated as such.

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