The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said climate change impacts are already widespread across all continents and oceans and rapidly worsening. How bad it will get hinges on near-term choices.
"We’re walking a tightrope, but if we act boldly and cut climate pollution faster major threats to human security can still be avoided and vital ocean systems, forests and species protected. Our actions will define how history will judge us and we question world leaders: will you stand with us?" said Kaisa Kosonen at Greenpeace International.
The IPCC report found that climate change is a growing threat to human security, as it exacerbates food and water vulnerabilities and indirectly increases the risks of migration and violent conflicts.
"Oil rigs and coal power plants are weapons of mass destruction, loading the atmosphere with destructive carbon emissions that don't respect national borders. To protect our peace and security, we must disarm them and accelerate the transition to clean and safe renewable energy that’s already started," said Jen Maman, peace adviser at Greenpeace International.
The issue of economic impacts, where estimations vary wildly, has also grabbed attention, but for vulnerable regions losses caused by climate change cannot be valued in terms of GDP alone.
"Let’s not get distracted by limited economic models or be blinded by global GDP. What value can you put on the lives of 8,000 people left dead or missing by typhoon Haiyan? Or what is the cost of the trauma of children being torn from their mother's arms due to storm surges? That is the true cost of climate change that should define the urgency of the action we take," said Amalie Obusan, Greenpeace Southeast Asia campaigner based in the Philippines.
"Today it's the victims who are paying the costs of climate change while polluters are going free. Oil, coal and gas companies are earning huge profits but not being held liable for the damage they are causing. This has got to change and we are determined to change it."
Greenpeace demands governments come to the climate summit of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in September with serious offers that will help achieve a 100% renewable energy system. Solar, wind and other clean energy are already challenging our old system, but governments must accelerate the transition.
Click here for a detailed briefing on the IPCC's findings
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