Today, while explosions are thundering in Ukraine, and Russia is mercilessly killing people and destroying nature, a new IPCC report is being released about the catastrophic consequences caused by burning the same thing that fuels war — fossil fuels.
Civil society representatives are warning governments that the report’s findings will be hard to ignore and urgent funding for proposed climate change adaptation measures is critical.
The latest science on the impacts of climate change should spur governments to meet their commitments to finance the climate crisis, review and update their national climate targets, and accelerate efforts to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions during this decade. We need a fair and fast phase-out of all fossil fuels to keep global warming below 1.5°C.
“Fossil fuels not only cause climate change but they also enable war to happen in the middle of multiple crises we all live in. On 24th of February the Russian army invaded Ukraine to start a full scale war in the middle of Europe.” — comments Olha Boiko, CAN EECCA coordinator, who is currently in Ukraine. “Russia’s influence on the European Union occurs, among other things, through dependence on fossil fuels. In 2019, 41 per cent of the EU’s imports of natural gas came from Russia, according to Eurostat. Russia has played a huge role in the history of climate change and created multiple examples of how fossil fuel dependency and conflict are intertwined. We cannot stop one without the other. Climate science has been unanimous for decades — we need to stop burning fossil fuels. The world just keeps adding more horrible examples to support this statement.”
The rich countries are the main culprits of the climate crisis and they should maximize financial assistance for adaptation to the most vulnerable countries and communities. They must agree to a new financing mechanism to deal with loss and damage, which was a key demand at the UN climate talks in Glasgow (COP26).
While the new IPCC report will focus the world’s attention on the effects of climate change, we cannot ignore the role of large pollutants in exacerbating the climate crisis. The IPCC report provides an opportunity to galvanize the climate justice movement to force polluters to repair the damage done to the climate and to people and force governments to confront a full-blown crisis.
Comments from CAN EECCA members and scientists:
Mariam Devidze, Green Alternative, Georgia:
“According to IPCC reports, we are aware of how vulnerable we as humans are to climate change. But our vulnerability and responsibility are different. Adapting to climate change is political in itself, as some nations and communities must adjust to the challenges others have caused. In many countries, global processes and decisions (including financial ones) do not reach the most affected people. The IPCC reports are not and cannot be only technical documents, since climate processes are highly political. We need to pay more attention to different geographical regions, recognize local actions and local needs.”
Andrey Podrezov, Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University, climatologist Kyrgyzstan
“The report includes the physical causes of climate change, that is, an attempt is made to identify the anthropogenic factors of climate change and the climatic fluctuations of the earth system. The causes of climate change have been studied, with an emphasis on anthropogenic climate change in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, when the increase in the planet’s greenhouse effect prevails. The report does not refute these facts, but emphasizes, like all other evaluation reports. If we compare the previously published scenario, published in the previous report on the change in temperature and precipitation, everything is the same. Those consequences for Central Asia, which were identified in the Fifth Report, will remain within the framework of the Sixth. In my opinion, there will be nothing stunning there, an increase in temperature from 1.5 to 6.5 degrees, and those consequences for Central Asia in Fifth Report, of course, will be reprinted practically unchanged in Sixth report. The last report also includes consequences plus adaptation, the only what’s new in the Sixth Report – it will include the NDC that was adopted in 2021.”
Alexey Kokorin, WWF Russia, climatologist:
“First of all, this volume is about adaptation. Even in the first volume, there is a forecast of changes in precipitation for Central Asia, precipitation minus evaporation too. The report argues that the amount of water in Central Asia may increase in the next decade. But this is a very superficial view of things. If you look at the second volume in detail, you can see that a decrease in the number of glaciers leads to a more uneven flow of water, so uneven rainfall is expected that, based on the second volume, the whole of Central Asia should and should be classified as a particularly vulnerable country. The same can be said about most of the Trans Caucasus, at least about Armenia. Probably, for such countries as Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, this factor is less significant, but this does not mean that these countries are not vulnerable. Each is vulnerable in its way. Russia is vulnerable in particular to the permafrost zone, floods in the Far East, and a host of other things.”
Chiara Martinelli, Director of CAN Europe
“Loss and damage is not an abstract question of the future. It affects 1.7 billion people worldwide, and this figure will increase significantly in the coming years. The costs, whether economic or human, are already significant and will only grow to the detriment of any country. Developed countries should provide practical support based on existing financial and technical instruments while exploring innovative financing options that meet the needs of people at the forefront of climate change impacts. The IPCC report will once again show how urgent action is needed. Extreme weather events and the risk of disruption of climate hotspots are on the rise. The climate crisis is a global human crisis, but there is still time to act. Significant adaptation measures and investments are needed so that communities around the world can become more resilient and look to the future.”
Eddie Perez, International Climate Diplomacy Manager at Climate Action Network — Réseau action climat (CAN-Rac), Canada
“Those who are least responsible for the crisis and have fewer resources to prepare for and recover from natural disasters bear the brunt of the consequences from floods, droughts, rising sea levels, and extreme temperatures. This report should help us tackle the inequity of climate impacts and encourage rich countries like Canada to finally provide adequate support to correct climate injustice: adaptation, building resilience, repairing loss and damage, compensating people for destroying their homes, health, and deprivation of livelihood”.
For more information please contact:
Baktygul Chynybaeva, Communication Manager of CAN EECCA