The Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its relevance for LOCALISED

Within the last two months the IPCC published two of its most recent assessment reports: The Working Group II Contribution on Impacts and Adaptation, and the Working Group III Contribution on Mitigation.

The WGII concludes that widespread disruption in nature already affects the lives of billions of people around the world, despite efforts to reduce the risks. People and ecosystems least able to cope are being hardest hit; “a dire warning about the consequences of inaction,” said Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC.

The world faces unavoidable multiple climate hazards over the next two decades even if global warming is halted at 1.5°C. Temporarily exceeding this warming level will result in additional severe impacts, some of which irreversible. Risks for society will increase, including to infrastructure and low-lying coastal settlements. “The AR6 WGII Contribution emphasizes the urgency of immediate and more ambitious action to address climate risks. Half measures are no longer an option.” said Hoesung Lee.

Given that there is urgency for more action tools are needed to speed up mitigation and adaptation along a broad coalition of authorities, citizens and businesses. With that the IPCC has underlined the relevance of the LOCALISED objectives, which is to develop useful tools for a decarbonisation of the European regions and localities until 2050 and the remaining adaptation need.

Whereas the IPCC lists and reviews options to adapt to a changing climate, there is the recognition that current efforts are insufficient, uneven, or even detrimental—pointing to the need of focusing more on the effectiveness, feasibility, and side-effects of measures—all, sub-objectives of the LOCALISED project. Climate change further interacts in a complex interplay with global trends such as unsustainable use of natural resources, growing urbanization, social inequalities, losses and damages from extreme events and a pandemic, jeopardizing future development. This complexity is where LOCALISED can make an additional significant contribution, calculating regionally-relevant solutions to optimally reach net-zero  along with the remaining adaptation needs for European regions and localities, including authorities, businesses and individuals.

Our assessment clearly shows that tackling all these different challenges involves everyone – governments, the private sector, civil society – working together to prioritize risk reduction, as well as equity and justice, in decision-making and investment,” said IPCC Working Group II Co-Chair Debra Roberts. “Cities bear the potential of having direct influence and jurisdictional power on their land in many countries, meaning that the complexity of decision-making for adaptation can be tested, and if need be course-corrected in a relative short period of time. Cities and regions are therefore perfect testbeds for climate action with the additional advantage of being showcases for their hinterlands”, said Diana Reckien, Coordinating Lead Author for Chapter 17, and a LOCALISED team member.

Providing detailed information for local and regional authorities on how they can best implement climate action to stay within the limits of warming of 1.5degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels is therefore more important than ever.

Authors of the article: Diana Reckien

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