IEMA reacts to latest IPCC report

28th February 2022


IEMA CEO, Sarah Mukherjee MBE, has described today's report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as a "stark reminder" of the significant threat that climate change poses to civilisation as we know it.

The report highlights how the world faces “unavoidable” multiple climate hazards over the next two decades. Even temporarily exceeding 1.5°C of global warming will result in additional severe impacts, some of which will be “irreversible”.

It warns that increased heatwaves, droughts and floods are already exceeding plants’ and animals’ tolerance thresholds, driving mass mortalities in species such as trees and corals.

Furthermore, these weather extremes are occurring simultaneously, causing cascading impacts that are increasingly difficult to manage, and exposing millions of people to acute food and water insecurity in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, on small islands and in the Arctic.

The report reiterates previous warnings of a “narrowing window” for climate action, and calls for greater funding, technology transfer, political commitment and partnership to ensure more effective adaptation and emissions reductions worldwide.

Mukherjee said: “This report is a stark reminder that human-induced climate change is very real and a significant threat to civilisation as we know it.

“Our organisation, IEMA, represents over 18,000 professionals working in environment and sustainability roles and they have been warning us about a climate disaster for years.

“We need to rapidly accelerate the net-zero transition for the whole economy, and urgently deploy green skills to make every job greener in order to adapt and make changes to protect our climate, biodiversity and natural environment upon which we all depend.

“This latest IPCC report is yet another warning that we are running out of time.”

The Working Group II report is the second instalment of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, which will be completed this year.

It has a particular focus on cities – where more than half the world's population lives – and provides a detailed assessment of climate change impacts, risks and adaptation measures needed in these areas.

The report also has a focus on nature, and provides new insights into nature’s potential to reduce climate risks and improve people’s lives. Involving everyone in planning, attention to equity and justice, and drawing on Indigenous and local knowledge, are among the key recommendations.

Sir David King, chair of the Climate Crisis Advisory Group, and previously the UK government’s chief scientific advisor, commended the report's authors, but said that a “blind spot” remains when discussing the climate beyond 2100

“While reducing emissions of CO2 deeply, rapidly and in an ordered manner fair to all is critical, repairing the climate is now also of utmost priority,” he explained.

“We must immediately begin removing excess greenhouse gases from the atmosphere at scale, while we buy time by rapidly researching ways to protect the ice caps, and complete an ordered transition to a fossil fuel-free society.”

“This is a code red situation. No government is taking it seriously enough. We must urgently seek productive collaboration between sub-national, national, and international bodies to do more to combat climate issues equitably, with determination and speed.”

Image credit: iStock


Transform articles

EU proposes Nature Restoration Law

The European Commission has proposed a new Nature Restoration Law with legally-binding targets to restore damaged ecosystems across every member state.

23rd June 2022

Read more

The Broadway Initiative has co-published a new report outlining how the UK can overcome barriers to private investment needed to fill an annual £5.6bn financing gap for nature recovery.

9th June 2022

Read more

In R. (on the application of Lewis) v Welsh Ministers, following a costs order against the claimant, the claimant applied for a costs limit in accordance with the Aarhus Convention 2001 and the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) 1998/3132.

26th May 2022

Read more

Tom Pashby talks about why the new Natural History GCSE is such an important step forward for climate and biodiversity preservation

26th May 2022

Read more

In March, Defra launched the consultation on its Nature Recovery Green Paper, which set out pro-posals to deliver the 30/30 targets (30% of land and sea to be protected by 2030), protect species and deliver nature recovery.

26th May 2022

Read more

Defra kickstarted 2022 with its January consultation on biodiversity net gain (BNG) regulations and im-plementation.

26th May 2022

Read more

The Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) has today published its first monitoring report on the UK government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, warning that progress so far has been “slow”.

12th May 2022

Read more

The UK government has today unveiled a new strategy detailing how the country's education sector will become a “world leader in climate change” by 2030.

21st April 2022

Read more

Defra’s consultation on biodiversity net gain (BNG) regulations and implementation looks at how to enact BNG within the planning system, as set out in last year’s Environment Act.

24th March 2022

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert