Opening remarks by the IPCC Chair at the IPCC-SBSTA Special Event on the Working Group II contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report

Monday, 6 June 2022
Bonn, Germany

Thank you, Tosi/Chair,

Let me also welcome you all to this special event to present the IPCC Working Group II report, the first of several activities involving the IPCC at these Subsidiary Bodies meetings.

We very much look forward to this opportunity for a direct exchange with you on our findings.

Today’s meeting responds to the Glasgow COP invitation to the IPCC to present its forthcoming reports. It follows the special event at COP26 in Glasgow last November to present the Working Group I report and will be followed by a special event on Wednesday on the Working Group III report.

With that, we will complete the presentation of the three IPCC working groups’ contributions to the Sixth Assessment Report.

Furthermore, we will be working with you here in Bonn over the next ten days  to  unpack  the findings of our reports and to place them in the context of the global stocktake, global goal on adaptation, as well on identifying research gaps for future scientific work and assessments.

Meanwhile, the IPCC is busy completing the Synthesis Report, integrating all the knowledge produced in this assessment cycle.

The Working Group II report, finalized a little over three months ago, examines how the continuing climate change identified in the Working Group I report last August is impacting people, wildlife and farming.

It examines future impacts and risks at different levels of warming and considers the options and limits for humankind and nature to adjust to the changes to our climate system underway or in the pipeline, strengthening society and nature’s resilience to climate change.

Among the innovations in this report, which builds on the Fifth Assessment Report in 2014 and the special reports prepared earlier in this cycle, there are sections on climate change impacts, risks and options to act for cities and settlements by the sea, tropical forests, mountains, biodiversity hotspots, drylands and deserts, the Mediterranean and polar regions, and an atlas presenting impacts and risks from global to regional scales.

Our event today will follow the structure of the Summary for Policymakers, with sections on observed and projected impacts and risks, adaptation measures and enabling conditions, and climate-resilient development.

You will shortly hear the detail from IPCC co-chairs and authors who prepared the report. But let me summarize the key findings:

The cumulative scientific evidence is unequivocal: climate change is a grave and mounting 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.

We are not on track to achieve a climate-resilient sustainable world.

This report is a dire warning about the consequences of inaction. Our actions today will shape how people adapt and nature responds to increasing climate risks.

And as you will hear, climate change is intersecting with a number of other challenges including biodiversity loss and inequity to increase threats to ecosystems and people.

The report shows that exceeding warming of 1.5ºC, even temporarily, will result in additional severe impacts, some of which are irreversible.

Urgent action is required to adapt to climate change at the same as making rapid deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

Before, we invite  Working Group II Vice-Chair Joy Pereira and Co-Chair Hans-Otto Pörtner to begin the presentation we will see the Working Group II report video. I look forward to our discussion.

Thank you.