The IPCC Climate Report 2022: How to Mitigate Climate Change

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The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) gives policy-makers regular scientific assessments about climate change, its risks and impacts, and what to do about it. In 2022, it is publishing its Sixth Assessment Report on the state of climate change. The IPCC climate report 2022 is published in segments as and when specialist working groups agree their scientific conclusions. You can view all the IPCC’s climate reports here.


The IPCC Climate Report 2022 on Mitigation of Climate Change is particularly important because it assesses how we are doing in preventing climate change. In particular, the report tells us how we are doing in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and where we need to take urgent action.

Findings of the IPCC Climate Report 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change
the IPCCC climate report 2022
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We are not doing very well. The rate of growth in GHG emissions has slowed, but it is still going up. 2010-2019 saw the highest levels of GHG emissions in human history. If we carry on as we are, global warming will exceed 3°C. Damage to all life on Earth will be irreparable.


However, it is not all bad news. There is still time to limit global warming to 1.5°C, if we can achieve immediate and major GHG emissions cuts that would at least halve global emissions by 2030. The IPCC found evidence of growing climate action around the world. It argued that accelerating this action now will be much less painful than taking action when it is too late.



IPCC Climate Report Recommendations to Mitigate Climate Change


The IPCC highlights 5 main areas where we can make significant enough cuts in GHG emissions to curtail global warming.



Firstly, energy. The energy sector is the world’s largest GHG emitter, but also one where there is major innovation. Obviously, fossil fuel use has to be cut dramatically and our use of alternative energy sources, such as hydrogen, wind and solar, has to accelerate. The IPCC climate report noted that the costs of wind and solar energy have gone down by 85% since 2010. The point is, the costs of mass transitioning to new energy sources are not prohibitive with government involvement. Widespread electrification (in sectors such as transport) and energy efficiency were also recommended. The IPCC estimated that these policies and infrastructure could cut GHG emissions by 40-70% by 2050 and improve our health (pollution is the world’s biggest killer).


IPCC Climate Report 2022


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The IPCC Climate Report 2022: Energy sector could dramatically cut GHG emissions by 2050



Secondly, cities. Cities are major GHG emitters and polluters but also hold the key to many solutions. The IPCC climate report 2022 recommended that cities: be redesigned to be walkable and that new cities are made more compact; electrify transport systems; and rapidly adopt sustainable technologies such as zero-carbon buildings and carbon-capture technologies. These changes are time-sensitive and need to be happening now.



Heavy Industry

Third, heavy industry. Industry makes up a whopping 25% of GHG emissions and must urgently move to circular economy models that minimize waste and pollution. This means reusing and recycling materials, extending the life of products and cutting out toxic chemicals, carbon emissions and waste. The IPCC climate report noted that zero emissions building materials and chemicals are nearing commercial readiness or are already on the market. However, eliminating GHG emissions still requires extraordinary innovation in production processes and carbon capture technologies, and for the energy sector to dramatically reduce its GHG emissions in parallel. China, Japan and the USA are under a lot of pressure to cut GHGs from industry and energy. Together, they make up around 50% of global manufacturing output.




Fourth, agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU). Sustainable farming and reducing our reliance on meat can achieve large scale emissions reductions. Sustainable forestry and land use can remove and store carbon dioxide at scale and benefit biodiversity. These practices aren’t enough to absorb all our carbon emissions, but they help. The IPCC climate report argues that the better protected our ecosystems, the more nature can do on its own to adapt to climate change and continue to provide food and water and livelihoods.


IPCC Climate Report 2022


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The IPCC Climate Report 2022: AFOLU Can reduce GHG emissions and capture carbon at scale


All of this research and development, innovations and transitions cost money. One study found that green finance has risen 100 fold in the last decade, but the IPCC climate report argued we are still three to six times below financing levels needed to limit global warming by 2030. The money is out there to close the gap, however. The IPCC argued for existing public finances across countries to be better aligned with their climate policies, and for governments to make clearer signals to private ESG investors that they are willing to back the transitions needed in the energy, cities, industrial and AFOLU sectors.


In all, the IPCC Climate Report 2022 sends us a stark message. We know what to do to avoid climate catastrophe. We have the technology and the resources to do it. It is on us morally to act on what we know now. Succeeding generations will not have the same luxury.


If you want to know more about what is the IPCC report on climate change, you can read the full IPCC climate report 2022 here. If you would like to learn more about sustainable and responsible investing, you can read our article Everything you need to know about climate finance. You can also find out the top 10 ESG issues in 2022 and subscribe to our newsletter to stay informed.

Tags :
Biodiversity,Climate Change,Environment,ESG Investing,Green finance,Greenhouse Gas Emissions,Oil and gas,Renewable energy,Smart Cities,Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems,Sustainable Transportation,Waste pollution
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