MEDIA RELEASE: Rapidly Closing Window Remains to Secure a Liveable Future

MEDIA RELEASE: Rapidly Closing Window Remains to Secure a Liveable Future

Media Contact: Cathy Orlando,, 705-929-4043

Sudbury ON: On Monday, February 28, 2022, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II released its latest report, this time on impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability.

The IPCC Working Group II included 270 authors from 67 countries, 47 coordinating authors, 184 lead authors, and 39 review editors. The report also draws on the work of 675 contributing authors and over 34,000 cited references. Of note, 43 % of the authors were from developing countries and 41% were women. Before reaching the final product, Working Group II received a total of 62,418 expert and government review comments.

“The scientific evidence is unequivocal: climate change is a threat to human wellbeing and the health of the planet. Any further delay in concerted global action will miss a brief and rapidly closing window to secure a liveable future,” warned Hans-Otto Pörtner, co-chair of the IPCC report.

Among the key takeaways:

  1. We have entered the era of human-induced losses and damages due to climate change. These losses are observed in all ecosystems, across all regions of the world.
  2. Climate disruption threatens human health, as well as economic security and the stability of communities, institutions, and nations.
  3. Health impacts, including trauma from extreme events, prolonged food and water scarcity, displacement, and spillover pathogens, are happening in every region.
  4. Approximately 3.3 to 3.6 billion people live in contexts that are highly vulnerable to climate change.
  5. Inaction is not only irresponsible but also dangerous: adapting to climate impacts will become increasingly impossible without faster emission cuts.
  6. Delaying action to mitigate climate change leads to compounding risks, and eventually to irreversible damage.
  7. Relying on techno-fixes alone to solve the crisis risks overshooting warming beyond 1.5°C, with dangerous costs for people and biodiversity.
  8. Misinformation and active resistance to climate action from the oil and gas industry have made us more vulnerable.
  9. Participatory civic processes and engagement with stakeholders are needed to ensure adaptation measures are effective and do not lead to maladaptation.
  10. Social inequality leads to the most vulnerable people being hit the hardest.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: “Today’s IPCC report is an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership.”

Countries such as Canada, with mature economies and high levels of resilience, should prioritize climate action to transition their energy systems and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while at the same time supporting adaptation policies globally.

“As current events make all too clear, our reliance on fossil fuels makes all of us vulnerable to geopolitical crises,” says Cathy Orlando, Director of Programs at Citizens’ Climate International. “There is a path forward, just follow the money. Financial policies enacted by our government must create an equitable and resilient world. These policies include tax reform, carbon pricing, subsidy reform, and border carbon adjustments.”

Citizens’ Climate International has carbon pricing advocates in over 75 countries around the world. They advocate for a fee on carbon pollution where the revenues are returned to their citizens on an equal per capita basis, akin to Canada’s national carbon pricing policy.

November 2021 article in Nature found that it will be possible to reach a 2C target while also increasing wellbeing, reducing inequality, and alleviating poverty globally if countries enacted a carbon fee with an equal per capita dividend policy. Thus, with a few more policies in play in addition to carbon fees with dividends, the 1.5C goal could be reached while reducing inequality at the same time.

Currently, Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada members are preparing for a conference and to lobby their Members of Parliament for improvements to the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act from May 1 to May 3. Registration will open in mid-March.

Additional IPCC resources: