IPCC report warns of damage to ecosystems

24th March 2022

Web p7 IEMA News IPCC report warns of damage to ecosystems CREDIT Getty Images 1148857258



In February, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published the second part of its Sixth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. It included detailed information about the impacts of climate change on ecosystems and biodiversity.

The report states that, globally, there has been substantial, and some irreversible, damage to terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems, and that the extent is larger than expected. Ecosystems have reduced in number but also in resilience, ability to adapt, structure and function; there have also been changes in seasonality. Some of the differences include increased tree mortality from droughts, loss of kelp forest, and warm water coral bleaching and mortality. Some species, such as those in polar regions, will face temperatures beyond their historical experience during the next 10 years. Changes to land, freshwater and marine environments will affect livelihoods and security, including water security and food production.

There are adaptation options, many of which will be familiar. The key is protecting and restoring ecosystems and biodiversity: minimising harmful impacts, reducing fragmentation, and improving and increasing natural habitats, connectivity and heterogeneity. The report emphasises that this must be done using the right approaches in the right places, taking into account scientific information, indigenous knowledge, community knowledge and practical expertise.

The challenge is for businesses and governments to not only count and reduce carbon, but also understand and reduce their impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems and create environmental net gain. IEMA’s publication Biodiversity Net Gain – Good practice principles for development provides guidance for practitioners in this area.

IEMA supports the UK Biodiversity and Business Forum, which helps companies understand the value of nature and integrating nature into their value chains and decision-making.

Image credit | Getty


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

How much is too much?

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

One of the world’s most influential management thinkers, Andrew Winston sees many reasons for hope as pessimism looms large in sustainability. Huw Morris reports

4th April 2024

Read more

Vanessa Champion reveals how biophilic design can help you meet your environmental, social and governance goals

4th April 2024

Read more

Alex Veitch from the British Chambers of Commerce and IEMA’s Ben Goodwin discuss with Chris Seekings how to unlock the potential of UK businesses

4th April 2024

Read more

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

A project promoter’s perspective on the environmental challenges facing new subsea power cables

3rd April 2024

Read more

Senior consultant, EcoAct

3rd April 2024

Read more

Five of the latest books on the environment and sustainability

3rd April 2024

Read more

Media enquires

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

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close