Conservation International CEO Statement on Latest IPCC Report: “We must get off this track”
April 4, 2022
Arlington, VA (April 4, 2022) – Conservation International CEO Dr. M. Sanjayan released the following statement in response to the release of the Working Group III contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) Sixth Assessment Report, which was published today in Berlin:
“At first glance, there is much to be concerned about in this latest report. Not only is humanity off track to keep average temperature rise below the ‘safe’ zone of 1.5 degrees C, we are on track to take our climate well beyond that limit, which would utterly reshape life as we know it.
“Needless to say, we must get off this track. What we must not do is give up or despair, because this report also offers an opportunity.
“When you look closely, the IPCC shows what is possible if we take action now – not only to secure a livable and stable climate, but to take a massive global leap forward in terms of equity, justice and human development.
“The report also affirms something we’ve long known: that nature remains among the most effective (and cost-effective) climate solutions. Measures that protect nature – including reducing deforestation and implementing reforestation – make up three of the top five most effective options for cutting net emissions of climate-warming carbon by 2030, the report finds.
“Unfortunately, we are missing this opportunity: Nature remains a woefully underinvested solution. Meanwhile, the people who steward most of the nature that humanity relies on, and who will face the brunt of climate impacts in the coming years, are the least-equipped and the least responsible.
“We all know that we need to phase out fossil fuels. But what is often overlooked is that even if we stopped using fossil fuels tomorrow, we would still not hit our climate targets. What we must also do in this unique and rapidly closing window of opportunity is what this report all but screams out at us: Protect nature. If we do not do this now, this window will close: In a hotter future, nature’s ability to help humanity avert a climate disaster will diminish. In other words, once we reach a 3C future, our solutions will be virtually gone.
“Many will read this report and come away believing that 1.5C is not feasible. But it IS feasible, and it has to be. Giving in to despair and resignation plays into the interests of climate denialists. We cannot afford a 3C future.
“We can save our climate, and protect the nature we need to thrive, and live in a world that is more equal and just. There is still time; our future remains to be written. But it’s going to take everything we have, and we need to start now.”
About Conservation International: Conservation International protects nature for the benefit of humanity. Through science, policy, fieldwork and finance, we spotlight and secure the most important places in nature for the climate, for biodiversity and for people. With offices in 30 countries and projects in more than 100 countries, Conservation International partners with governments, companies, civil society, Indigenous peoples and local communities to help people and nature thrive together. Go to Conservation.org for more, and follow our work on Conservation News, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and YouTube