Call it the Synthesis Report of the Sixth Assessment Cycle (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

It was adopted by all member countries on March 13,2023 at the 58th Session of the IPCC at Interlaken, Switzerland; 

Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change,has noted that the report summarizes the state of knowledge of climate change, its widespread impacts and risks, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. 

It integrates the main findings of the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) based on contributions from the three Working Groups, and the three Special Reports. 

The report recognizes the interdependence of climate, ecosystems and biodiversity, and human societies; the value of diverse forms of knowledge; and the close linkages between climate change adaptation, mitigation, ecosystem health, human well-being and sustainable development, and reflects the increasing diversity of actors involved in climate action.

The report re-emphasizes India’s consistently held position that development is our first defense against climate change and that urgent and rapid climate actions are needed by the developed countries based on the principles of climate justice and equity, both in terms of emissions reduction and the mobilizing of finance and making available the latest technology to the developing countries. 

The report reinforces the scientific view that CO2 is the primary GHG and needs to be drastically reduced. The report mentions that for every 1000 GtCO2emitted by human activity, global surface temperature rises by 0.45°C (best estimate, with a likely range from 0.27 to 0.63°C). 

The remaining carbon budgets from the beginning of 2020 are 500 GtCO2 for a 50% likelihood of limiting global warming to 1.5°C and 1150 GtCO2 for a 67% likelihood of limiting warming to below 2°C. Reaching net zero CO2 or GHG emissions primarily requires deep and rapid reductions in gross emissions of CO2, as well as substantial reductions of non-CO2 GHG emissions.

Climate justice and equity are important enablers for ensuring climate action and growth and development for developing countries. The Report notes that modelled scenarios explore only a limited number of solutions, and warns against mistaking them for predictions or forecasts. 

The scientists also confirm that models do not explicitly account for equity, environmental justice, and income distribution - all crucial factors in climate policy decision.

The Synthesis Report draws attention to the fact that the largest climate finance gaps are in developing countries and that accelerated financial support for developing countries from developed countries and other sources is a critical enabler to enhance mitigation actions and address inequities in finance, including its costs, terms and conditions and economic vulnerability to climate change for developing countries.

The Report notes that finance flows from developed to developing countries fall short of the levels needed to meet climate goals across all sectors and regions. It also acknowledges that in 2018, public and publicly mobilized private climate finance flows from developed to developing countries were below the collective goal under the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement to mobilize USD100 billion per year by 2020 in the context of meaningful mitigation action and transparency on implementation.

Adverse impacts from human-induced climate change will continue to intensify. Vulnerability to impacts of climate change in the near term are strongly dependent on levels of development, and exposure to extreme weather and climate events which will increase at higher warming levels. These findings underline India’s position that we must focus on sustainable development.

The report mentions with high confidence that international cooperation is a critical enabler for achieving ambitious climate change mitigation, adaptation, and climate resilient development. Climate resilient development is enabled by increased international cooperation including mobilizing and enhancing access to finance, particularly for developing countries, vulnerable regions, sectors and groups and aligning finance flows for climate action to be consistent with ambition levels and funding needs.

The Report notes that Climate change has caused widespread adverse impacts and related losses and damages to nature and people that are unequally distributed across systems, regions and sectors.

The Report also notes that without urgent, effective, and equitable mitigation and adaptation actions, climate change increasingly threatens ecosystems, biodiversity, and the health and wellbeing of current and future generations. Accelerated mitigation and implementation of adaptation actions in the near-term would reduce projected losses and damages for humans and ecosystems.

The Synthesis Report echoes  Prime Minister’s vision for “LiFE”, or Lifestyle for Environment, which is a global mass movement for promoting environmental friendly lifestyle to protect and preserve the environment. The report notes with high confidence that many options are available for reducing emission-intensive consumption, including through behavioral and lifestyle changes, with co-benefits for societal well-being.

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