Statement to YOUNGOs Unite Behind the Science
IPCC Chair, Hoesung Lee
22 April 2021 (Earth Day)
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Thank you very much for this opportunity to join you on Earth Day at Unite Behind the Science.
Young people are helping to fight climate change and build a low-carbon society. Climate change concerns, voiced in your group, have become one of the most important factors awakening the citizens around the world to the urgency of climate action.
Your event today is titled “Unite Behind Science.” I support 100%.
Science can provide you a basis for the optimum mix of policies to tackle climate change while pursuing other essential goals such as eradicating poverty and improving health. The IPCC is at the core of this nexus.
The IPCC works with hundreds of scientists, both natural and social science, from all over the world volunteering their time and expertise to examine the thousands of pieces of scientific research related to climate change.
Our goal is to evaluate scientific evidence regarding climate change and assess the state of scientific knowledge on this issue.
We inform governments, 195 member countries of the IPCC, about the state of knowledge of climate change so that they can make sound policies and negotiate for climate treaty based on the evidence.
We bring together scientists and governments because IPCC reports are tools that governments will work with. And IPCC reports are a valuable resource for civil society and the public too. I encourage you to use our reports for your work.
In August this year, we plan to release the report on the state of climate science.
Many nations now proclaim the goal of achieving carbon net-zero 2050. The science behind this policy action is the IPCC Special Report on the global warming of 1.5 degrees Celcius, released in 2018.
This report concluded that the window of opportunity for climate solution is closing rapidly, thus
- Every tenth of a degree of warming matter
- Every year matters, and
- Every choice matters.
Subsequent to the release of the special report on the global warming of 1.5 degrees, we had also two other special reports released which examined land, oceans, glaciers, and ice sheets in a changing climate.
They are components of the earth system, along with the atmosphere that support life on this planet. These reports confirmed that climate change is overtaking us and there is no time to lose for climate action.
I said that “every choice matters” and this is where you and your families, indeed all of us, can make a difference in how we travel to school or work, what we eat, how we heat our homes and contemplate our consumption patterns.
But the most important thing is to inform yourselves about the science on climate change, talk to your friends and family about it and push for ambitious policies based on science to create a low-carbon society. I believe that Unite Behind the Science starts from you, yourself, and the people around you.
Thank you and have a great day Unite Behind the Science.