There is a need for urgent global action to avert global warning. That’s the view of a number of international development charities following the publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.
The IPCC report says scientists are now 95 percent certain that human activity is driving climate change, up from 90 percent in its last report six years ago.
It stated that global warming is “unequivocal,” and that a pause in warming over the past 15 years is too short to reflect long-term trends.
Its findings are a “stark warning” of the need for urgent global action to avert devastating global warming, according to Christian Aid, and the United Kingdom needs to lead the way.
“Scientific evidence confirms that manmade climate change is a reality and that without urgent action globally, the impacts will get worse. The time for debate is over; it is time to act,” Alison Doig, Christian Aid’s senior climate change advisor, said.
“Rising temperatures will bring enormous economic and human cost,” he said. “We need to support countries and communities most at risk in preparing to cope with disaster to lessen the impacts of extreme weather events and help communities recover more rapidly when they do occur.
“The implications of melting ice caps and rising sea levels for people and economies around the world will be enormous, but it is the poorest and most vulnerable people who depend on the land and sea for their living who will be most affected.
“The report shows that there is time to put a halt to the continuing accumulation of carbon in our atmosphere, but that we need to move fast,” Doig said. “As a developed, industrialized country, the U.K. has to lead the way by ending our dependence on fossil fuels and investing in clean, renewable sources of energy, which we are fortunate enough to be blessed with in the U.K.”
“The science is clear,” Doig said. “We have a moral duty to act and the risk of not doing so is too great. This is our opportunity to create the world we want to live in.”
Paul Cook, advocacy director at Tearfund, said the report reinforces “what we already know about climate change.”
“This report gives further scientific backing to what our partner organizations around the world have been telling us: The climate is changing, and not in a good way,” he said. “Droughts, floods and erratic weather are ruining crops and damaging communities.”
“In 2009, world governments pledged to keep global warming below 2 degrees but this won’t be possible if we continue with business as usual,” Cook said. “Our recent survey shows that 91 percent of the British public are concerned about the impacts of climate change on future generations. The time for governments around the world to act is now if we are to bless rather than curse our children and grandchildren.”
“We need bold steps to reduce emissions urgently,” Cook said, “and greater support for poor communities in developing countries that have contributed the least to climate change but are suffering the most from its effects.”
A version of this article first appeared in The Baptist Times of Great Britain and is used with permission.