Stand.earth on IPCC WG2 report
February 28, 2022
Traditional Lummi and Nooksack Land and Unceded and Coast Salish Territories (BELLINGHAM, WA /VANCOUVER, BC) — The world’s most authoritative climate science body released a comprehensive review of large-scale climate impacts today, signaling their most urgent call to action yet to avoid the worst of what’s to come.
The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Working Group II underscored that the impacts of climate change are already causing irreversible damage and forcing people to adapt, and unless emissions are cut faster than governments plan to, damages will worsen rapidly and parts of the planet will become increasingly uninhabitable.
In response to the report, Stand.earth, an international environmental advocacy group that calls on corporations, financial institutions, and governments to stop fossil fuel expansion, deforestation, and industrial pollution, and adopt clean, justice-centered solutions for a livable future, issued the following statements:
“We have to shift into high gear, and fast,” said Todd Paglia, Stand.earth’s executive director. “The lesson of the last couple decades is that doubling down on policy analysis and incremental and voluntary corporate reform that didn’t work in the past is not going to work in the future. To accelerate change in line with what the science demands, philanthropy and the climate movement need to ramp up massive pressure from the grassroots up, calling out the bad actors and pushing them to change how they do business. For the fashion and IT industries, that requires commiting to coal-free factories and transport, for the shipping industry that necessitates zero-emissions shipping, major financial institutions must stop bankrolling fossil fuels and industries that depend upon them. And we must take immediate action on the wishes of frontline communities to no longer suffer toxic economic, social and environmental conditions. Period.”
Indeed, the report emphasizes climate justice and, in a first, acknowledges Indigenous and traditional knowledge. It drives home, once again, the inequity in the climate crisis, and how unfair it is to expect poorer countries, and even poorer communities in wealthy countries, to undo damage they haven’t primarily caused.
“This report tells us that climate change is getting worse, it’s already killing people and destroying nature and making the world poorer. The consequences of inaction will be felt the most by countries in the global south and marginalized communities all of the world who have done the least to cause it and can least afford to manage the impacts,” said Tzeporah Berman, Stand.earth’s International Programs Director. “The time for vague discussions about offsets and technological fixes to produce ‘clean’ coal, oil and gas are over. We can stop the worst impacts but it requires bold new ideas like the Fossil Fuel Treaty and immediate commitments from wealthy countries to stop the expansion of oil, gas and coal, protect intact forests and support emerging economies to build electrification and renewable energy and keep carbon in the ground.”
Climate change is already wreaking havoc, and conflict and climate are historically intertwined, especially in the context of energy security which is undoubtedly looming on the minds of many amid the current Ukraine crisis. These global climate impacts have the potential to be significant and dire, potentially beyond the point where changes are reversible. And while the findings might seem bleak, the worst is avoidable if we act quickly. Stand.earth is calling on governments and corporations to demonstrate their climate leadership by strengthening and accelerating the delivery of their emissions reduction plans in order to keep global temperatures from rising above the dangerous threshold of 1.5-2 °C.