WASHINGTON (March 20, 2023) — Today the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a synthesis of its Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) on climate change. Drawing on the findings from over hundreds of scientists, this report provides the most comprehensive and best available scientific assessment of climate change.

The IPCC report warns that the consequences of rising greenhouse gas emissions are already more severe and widespread than expected and the world will face increasingly dangerous and irreversible risks should we fail to change course. The report outlines pathways the world can take to limit global warming to 1.5°C and bolster communities’ resilience to climate impacts. These pathways will require urgent, far-reaching transformations across every global sector and system.

Following is a statement from Ani Dasgupta, President & CEO, World Resources Institute:

“This IPCC report is both a blistering condemnation of major emitters’ inaction and a sound blueprint for a much safer and more equitable world.  

“Our planet is already reeling from severe climate impacts, from scorching heat waves and destructive storms to severe droughts and water shortages. Poor and vulnerable communities in the Global South are suffering the worst consequences of this warmer world, even though greenhouse gas pollution from rich nations is to blame.  

“IPCC scientists don’t mince words on the biggest threat to humanity: continuing to burn fossil fuels. Despite the rapid growth of renewable energy, fossil fuels still account for over 80% of the world’s energy and over 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Without a radical shift away from fossil fuels over the next few years, the world is certain to blow past the 1.5 C goal. The IPCC makes plain that continuing to build new unabated fossil fuel power plants would seal that fate.

“Despite their dire warnings, the IPCC offers reasons to be hopeful. The report shows a narrow path to secure a livable future if we rapidly correct course. This involves deep emission reductions from every sector of the economy, as well as much greater investments to build resilience to climate impacts and support for people facing unavoidable climate losses and damage.  

“The authors also make clear that approaches to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere are necessary to limit warming to 1.5°C, in addition to urgently decarbonizing every sector of society. New technologies like direct air capture are not a fool’s errand or a distraction but rather essential tools to avert climate catastrophe.  

“Thanks to the hard work of IPCC scientists, policymakers know exactly what needs to be done. Real climate leadership means signaling at the COP28 summit that the fossil fuel era is over. It means helping big emerging economies like India and Indonesia to hasten their shift to cleaner sources of energy. It means major emitters significantly raising the ambition of national climate plans. And it means developed countries dramatically scaling up finance for developing nations to bolster climate resilience and protect their forests and ecosystems.  

“These shifts may seem daunting, but the case for action could not be more clear: cost-effective solutions exist today that can avert the worst consequences of climate change, offer huge economic benefits, improve people’s health and livelihoods and build more resilient communities.”