The UN’s climate science body, the intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has released the first of a series of reports as part of its sixth assessment cycle (AR6). The report finds that ‘it is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land’ and in 2019, atmospheric concentrations were, on average, 410ppm (parts per million) for carbon dioxide which is the highest it has been in ‘at least 2 million years’.

The IPCC report, delayed by COVID-19, incorporates updated science from the past eight years. It offers the latest estimates on how much the climate has changed; how much climate could change in the future; the risks across various regions; and whether limiting further change is possible. One key message is that changes have been observed in ‘every region and across the whole climate system’. This article references that this should be a ‘wake-up call’ for government to set ambitious, credible climate targets that cover both mitigation and adaption along with policies that can be implemented as soon as possible. For those in high-carbon activities to rethink business models and strategies; for industries to be more innovative in lower carbon solutions; for all segments of the economy to prepare for the impacts of climate change. With COP26 in November 2021, climate change will remain high on the agenda as ‘make-or-break’ discussions occur before the next AR6 reports come in early 2022.

This article, produced by HSBC Global Research, provides 12 key highlights that you need to know from the latest IPCC report. The key findings cover the increase of GHG emissions, temperature increases on land and sea, changes precipitation and sea levels, extreme weather events, carbon sinks and regional discrepancies. The IPCC report makes the science of climate change crystal clear and findings from this article may provide investors with an even stronger case to demand more action from businesses and governments in the transition to net-zero.

Read the full report in PDF format.

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