Climate change: IPCC report calls for justice and social protection now

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) paints the darkest picture of the climate emergency to date.

The report clarifies that certain action thresholds have been exceeded resulting in irreversible loss and damage, and that this decade is the only window of opportunity to act and that waiting for technological fixes to be invented to “catch up” does not is not a solution.

UN Secretary General António Guterres called the report “an atlas of human suffering”. He added: “The facts are undeniable. This abdication of leadership is criminal. The world’s biggest polluters are guilty of arson of our only home.

Fast and smooth transitions

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said: “We understand the urgency and support this report’s endorsement that governments must include justice and social protection in their climate adaptation measures.

“Climate resilient development is made possible when governments, civil society and the private sector prioritize equity and justice. Workers must be at the center of plans for quick and just transitions. The ITUC’s global day of action for climate-proof work and jobs, #CEPOW, on June 22, brings these demands to the workplace.

“We agree with the report’s recommendation that social protection programs should include a focus on climate adaptation, and they should be supported by basic services and infrastructure.

“The report makes it clear that the worst impacts of climate change are already hitting some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities. A right response is to provide social protection for these people, funded by a global social protection fund under a new social contract.

“Most importantly, it must happen now with just transition plans in every country and every company. The impacts are already devastating for people and the planet.

“Adaptation and mitigation actions must also be implemented immediately. These are vital investments in resilience and the ability to anticipate and respond to future shocks.

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Joel C. Hicks