The United Nations (UN) has released its most recent report on climate change, presenting stark warnings for the future of the climate if immediate and drastic action is not taken.
The newly published Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report has outlined the widespread damages human-induced climate change is causing, with the UN calling on policymakers to make immediate changes to avoid further implications.
“This report is a dire warning about the consequences of inaction,” said Hoesung Lee, chair of the IPCC, in a news release. “It shows that climate change is a grave and mounting threat to our wellbeing and a healthy planet. Our actions today will shape how people adapt and nature responds to increasing climate risks.”
Demographics and locations, specifically ones least able to cope, are those being hit hardest, the report stated, with potential impacts so severe some may be irreversible. The IPCC noted that, despite steps being taken, the progress remains uneven, with gaps beginning to show between action and what is required to deal with the risks.
Safeguarding nature and eco-urbanisation
A key element highlighted in the report is the need to develop healthy ecosystems, with the IPCC referencing the potential for nature to both reduce climate risks and improve lives. According to Lee, restoring degraded ecosystems can contribute to sustainable development, but the move needs financial and global political support.
The IPCC further commented on the decrease in livelihoods for the increasingly expanding city-based populations, which are also experiencing more climate hazards. Scientists involved in the report suggested the need to adopt green operations in cities, through infrastructure such as renewable energy and green buildings.
Fashion’s involvement in change
As the door for effective change begins to close, many fashion brands have continued to implement sustainable efforts into their production processes. The industry has been subject to a growing amount of eco-centred legislations, including the UK’s anti-greenwashing Green Claims Code, that each aim to implement transparency and sustainability guidelines for fashion brands to adopt.
New European laws are set to come into effect this year, including a recently proposed due diligence law that will require EU-operating businesses to transparently implement ethical and sustainable manufacturing.
Ultimately, the IPCC stated that climate change is “a global challenge that requires local solutions”, recognising that various regions will be affected differently. The report further emphasised the need for adequate funding, political commitment and partnership to drive more effective climate change adaptation.
“The scientific evidence is unequivocal: climate change is a threat to human wellbeing and the health of the planet,” said climatologist Hans-Otto Pörtner. “Any further delay in concerted global action will miss a brief and rapidly closing window to secure a liveable future.”