The IPCC has delivered its verdict, and the responses are rolling in from around the globe
John Kerry, US Secretary of State
This is yet another wakeup call: Those who deny the science or choose excuses over action are playing with fire. Once again, the science grows clearer, the case grows more compelling, and the costs of inaction grow beyond anything that anyone with conscience or common sense should be willing to even contemplate.
Boil down the IPCC report and here’s what you find: Climate change is real, it’s happening now, human beings are the cause of this transformation, and only action by human beings can save the world from its worst impacts.
This isn’t a run of the mill report to be dumped in a filing cabinet. This isn’t a political document produced by politicians. It’s science.
Bob Watson, former chair of IPCC
Many of the other changes observed in the climate system, such as the rate of loss of Arctic sea ice, melting of mountain glaciers and the Greenland Ice sheet are unprecedented. Without immediate reductions in global emissions of greenhouse gases, the world will not be able to achieve the political target of limiting the increase in global mean surface temperatures to 2 degrees C, but rather we are likely to see an increase of 3-5 degrees C.
Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of UNFCCC
The report shows that there is more clarity about human-generated climate change than ever before. We know that the total effort to limit warming does not add up to what is needed to bend the emissions curve. To steer humanity out of the high danger zone, governments must step up immediate climate action and craft an agreement in 2015 that helps to scale up and speed up the global response.
As the results from the latest and best available science become clearer, the challenge becomes more daunting, but simultaneously the solutions become more apparent. These opportunities need to be grasped across society in mutually reinforcing ways by governments at all levels, by corporations, by civil society and by individuals.
Samantha Smith, leader of the WWF’s Global Climate & Energy Initiative
The IPCC report confirms what we know: we have no choice but to act now to arrest runaway climate change. Climate change is a gigantic and clear risk to the natural world and all of the people who depend on it, threatening coastal cities and communities as well as a third of all animal species and half the world’s plant species. We know that pollution from burning fossil fuels is the main cause of climate change.
We are calling on governments and the financial community to act immediately to stop risky investments in coal, oil and gas, and start investing in our long term future based on sustainable, renewable energy.
Ambassador Marlene Moses, Chair of Alliance of Small Island States:
The latest research further confirms that governments need to put forward more ambitious emissions reduction targets as soon as possible. To that end, AOSIS has submitted a plan designed to give them confidence that they can, in fact, do what is necessary… We think redoubling our efforts to enable all parties to take more ambitious action domestically can restore trust in the process and increase the chances of securing a new international climate agreement.
Dr Camilla Toulmin, director of the International Institute for Environment and Development
Climate models are not yet robust enough to predict impacts at local and regional scales, but it is clear from the experience of the many people with whom we work, who have faced loss and damage this year alone, that everybody is vulnerable in some way.
Dr Saleemul Huq, senior fellow in IIED’s climate change group
The time has come for global solidarity. This would enable the individual polluter (be they in a rich country or poor country) to recognise his or her personal responsibility and to try to connect with the victims of their pollution. Climate change ignores borders, but so do friendship and solidarity. It is time for national interests to give way to the global good.
Erwin Jackson, Deputy CEO of Australian NGO the Climate Institute
Among developed nations Australia is most exposed to climate risks. We have the technology, the wealth, and the talent to avoid dangerous climate change. But do we have the political will and the credible domestic policies? It is in our national interest to do what we can to help avoid 2°C warming.