IPCC Synthesis Report: Key takeaways – The Core IAS

IPCC Synthesis Report: Key takeaways

CONTEXT: Releasing the final report, known as the Synthesis Report, of its sixth assessment cycle, IPCC added that there is still a chance to avert this mass-scale destruction, but it would require an enormous global effort to slash greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 and completely phase them out by 2050.


  • The world is on track to breach the 1.5 degree Celsius global warming limit by the 2030s, which would cause irrevocable damage to the planet’s ecosystem and severely impact humans and other living beings, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an UN-backed body of world’s leading climate scientists, warned.
  • Earth has already warmed an average of 1.1 degrees Celsius since the industrial age while humans have been responsible for virtually all global heating over the last 200 years.
  • The Synthesis Report has come after a week-long negotiation with the approval of 195 countries. It is essentially a non-technical summary of the previous reports, which were released between 2018 and 2022, and sets out possible policies and measures that might help stave off the worst consequences of climate change.

Key takeaways from the report:

  • The new report lays out the present impact of soaring global temperature and imminent ramifications in case the planet continues to get warmer.
  • Due to the current global warming levels, almost every region across the planet is already experiencing climate extremes, an uptick in deaths due to heat waves, reduced food and water security and damage to ecosystems, causing mass extinction of species on land and in the ocean.
  • Moreover, “vulnerable communities who have historically contributed the least to climate change are being disproportionately affected,” the report said. It added that more than three billion people live in areas that are “highly vulnerable” to climate change — people living in these regions were “15 times more likely to die from floods, droughts and storms between 2010-2020 than those living in regions with very low vulnerability”.
  • Things can get worse if the world crosses the 1.5 degree Celsius temperature limit, a target agreed to in the Paris Agreement. This would result in an unpredictable global water cycle, drought and fires, devastating floods, extreme sea level events and more intense tropical cyclones.
  • We are already at approximately 1.1 degree Celsius over pre-industrial level temperatures. What it simply means is that any additional warming is going to have an adverse impact. So there are going to be losses and damages on different systems. In this report, we talk of loss and damages to biodiversity, livelihood, water security, energy security etc.
  • According to the scientists involved in writing the report, India would also face these dire consequences of global warming and needs to take immediate action to curb the temperature.
  • Even though our per capita emissions are less, and we have historically, much less responsibility. But the reality is India is at the forefront of impacts. We simply cannot say that because we haven’t emitted much, we are not the ones to take action. I think the report makes it clear. Everybody has to take action according to their national context and circumstances urgently.
  • Given the present scale, scope and pace of global action, it’s most likely that Earth would overshoot this critical warming threshold somewhere in the following decade. The report categorically states that despite some advancements towards curtailing the greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, “adaptation gaps exist, and will continue to grow at current rates of implementation.” Some of the barriers to adaptation have been limited resources, lack of private sector and citizen engagement, low climate literacy, lack of political commitment and low sense of urgency.


  • Today’s IPCC REPORT is a how-to guide to defuse the climate time-bomb. It is a survival guide for humanity. As it shows, the 1.5-degree limit is achievable. But it will take a quantum leap in climate action. This report is a clarion call to massively fast-track climate efforts by every country and every sector and on every time frame.
  • The Synthesis Report underlines the requirement of climate-resilient development, which is finding ways to adapt to climate change or reduce greenhouse gas emissions that provide wider benefits. It further mentions that to be effective, these measures must be rooted in our diverse values, world views and knowledge around the globe — including Indigenous knowledge.
  • Apart from highlighting the urgent need of limiting the use of fossil fuel, the report urges governments and policymakers to increase finance to climate investments, expand the clean energy infrastructure, reduce nitrogen pollution from agriculture, curtail food waste, and adopt measures to make it easier for people to lead low-carbon lifestyles and much more.
  • The solutions are. Renewables, storage, electrification – they are already gaining a place in many parts of the world, but not enough. We need to move faster, with rich countries leading the way. It is disappointing that climate finance growth has slowed since 2018 when it should have accelerated. The largest gaps are in the developing world. But so too are the largest opportunities.”
  • We must shift these flows and increase access to finance to advance our collective prosperity and reach net zero. Since the last round of IPCC reports, science has progressed and we can see that the risks we face – drought, rising seas, floods – are happening, and will happen, at lower levels of warming. We must halve our emissions in this decade and limit warming to 1.5°C. We must bend the emissions curve down, global emissions need to peak before 2025.


Source: Indian Express

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