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IPCC climate report calls for urgent action on climate change mitigation and adaptation

10 March 2022

IPCC climate report calls for urgent action on climate change mitigation and adaptation

A new report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) outlines how human-induced climate change is leading to biodiversity loss, water shortages, reduced food production, loss of lives and reduced economic growth.

The Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Working Group II Contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report highlights how the impacts of climate change are being felt globally, but are disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable people and systems.

Agricultural productivity growth in Africa, which has contributed among the least to greenhouse gas emissions, has been reduced by 34% since 1961 due to effects of climate change, more than any other region.

Future warming will negatively affect food systems in Africa by shortening growing seasons, reducing adaptation of plants and livestock and increasing water stress.

There is an urgent need to invest in climate change adaptation in Africa, and many adaptation measures are cost effective. However, annual finance flows targeting adaptation for Africa are billions of pounds less than the lowest adaptation cost estimates for near-term climate change.

António Guterres, Secretary-General of the UN, tweeted on Monday:

“I've seen many reports, but nothing like the new IPCC climate report, an atlas of human suffering and damning indictment of failed climate leadership. I know people everywhere are anxious and angry. I am, too. It's time to turn rage into #ClimateAction.”

Farm Africa’s strategy for 2021 to 2025 places a high priority on climate action, with a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen the resilience and adaptive capacity of communities to climate change.

Farm Africa welcomes the IPCC report’s call to acknowledge that climate, biodiversity, and human society are a coupled system, meaning that all components are interlinked. If we change one of them, it will affect the other two as well.  

As an organization with a vision of a resilient rural Africa where people and the environment thrive, Farm Africa echoes the IPCC report’s calls for investment in protecting nature and rebuilding ecosystems to benefit both people and biodiversity.

Dan Collison, Chief Executive of Farm Africa, commented:

“From maintaining indigenous forests to diversifying agricultural production and livelihoods to economically empowering women, Farm Africa has a long history of supporting rural communities across eastern Africa to implement the solutions highlighted by the IPCC report as key to adapting to climate change.

“We’ve seen how effective these measures can be, but the report brings into sharp focus how urgent the need is to scale up these efforts. Now is the time for governments of developed countries and the private sector to act in not only cutting their emissions, but also invest in climate adaptation measures in least developed countries, before it is too late.”

Adaptation options which Farm Africa promotes highlighted in the IPCC report include:

  • Gender-sensitive and equity-based adaptation approaches reduce vulnerability for marginalized groups across multiple sectors in Africa, including water, health, food systems and livelihoods.
  • Early warning systems based on targeted climate services can be effective for disaster risk reduction, social protection programmes, and managing risks to health and food systems.
  • Innovative index-based insurance schemes can help transfer risk and aid recovery, including in food systems.
  • Agricultural and livelihood diversification, agro ecological and conservation agriculture practices, aquaculture, on-farm engineering, and agroforestry can increase resilience and sustainability of food systems in Africa under climate change.
  • Ecosystem-based adaptation can reduce climate risk while providing social, economic and environmental benefits.
  • Maintaining indigenous forest benefits biodiversity and reduces emissions.
  • The diversity of African indigenous knowledge and local knowledge systems provide a rich foundation for adaptation actions at local scales.

Photos: Carl de Keyzer / Magnum Photos for the Virunga Foundation