The report today from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a reminder that the climate crisis threatens us all, in every region of the world and across every sector of the economy. It also demonstrates why the international community must urgently continue to pursue ambitious climate action, even as we face other pressing global challenges.
We know the significant risks climate change poses to our health and safety, and we know the climate plays a decisive role in shaping the trajectory of peace and prosperity in the world. While political and economic decisions are the primary drivers of conflict, climate change will increase as a threat to global and local stability.
The IPCC report underscores the ways climate impacts are affecting lives and livelihoods globally now. The report reflects scientists’ increased confidence that the harm already being experienced as a result of climate impacts will worsen as the world continues to warm, with growing adverse effects on economies, ecosystems, and human health.
Importantly, the IPCC report concludes that effective adaptation measures can help build a more resilient global society in the near term and beyond. The report also emphasizes that solutions are most effective when they prioritize inclusion and equity in planning and implementation and work across all levels of government.
The IPCC’s findings reinforce the importance and urgency of work already underway across the U.S. government to implement President Biden’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE), the cornerstone of the U.S. government response to addressing the increasing impacts of the global climate crisis. PREPARE will bring together the United States’ diplomatic, development, and technical expertise to help more than half a billion people in developing countries adapt to and manage the impacts of climate change by 2030.
Approval of this report is the result of more than five years of work by hundreds of scientists from the United States and around the world to comprehensively assess what is known about the global impacts of and vulnerabilities to climate change. I commend the many expert contributors to this report, which has provided us with a comprehensive and authoritative synthesis of knowledge about global climate change impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation.
The United States is committed to continued participation in IPCC activities and to the rigorous use of scientific information as a foundation for action to address the threats from climate change.