Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

IPCC’s Synthesis Report: Urgent Action Needed For Climate-resilient Development


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: IPCC's report

Mains level: Climate change, dire consequences, efforts of mitigation, progress and challenges

Central Idea

  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently released the synthesis report of its Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) cycle, which serves as a survival guide for humanity. The report highlights the urgent need for a climate-resilient development model that integrates adaptation, mitigation, and sustainable development for all.

Key Takeaways from the AR6 Report

  • Human activity is driving global temperature rise, currently at 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels, with an estimated trajectory of 2.8°C by 2100.
  • While the rate of emissions growth has slowed in the past decade, humanity is estimated to be on a 2.8° C (2.1°-3.4° C range) trajectory by 2100.
  • This temperature rise is causing widespread impacts on climatic systems, with greater risks at lower temperatures than previously assessed.
  • The IPCC report highlights that by 2019, humanity had already used up 80% of its carbon budget for limiting warming to 1.5°C, with developed economies being the biggest contributors.
  • The report also notes that existing modelling studies, which are often used to assess emission trajectories, do not explicitly account for questions of equity.

Major implications for limiting warming to 1.5°C rather than 2°C

  1. Carbon Budget and Temperature Targets:
  • The world’s carbon budget for 1.5°C is much lower than for 2°C. Global pathways show that limiting warming to 1.5°C requires a 43% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, while for 2°C it is 21%.
  • Even more concerning is that projected CO2 emissions from existing fossil fuel infrastructure already surpass the remaining carbon budget for 1.5°C.
  • Striving for a 1.5° C target implies deep and immediate reductions in emissions in all sectors and regions, which makes more salient different national circumstances and questions of climate equity and operationalisation of the UNFCCC’s core principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibility and Respective Capabilities.
  1. Climate adaptation itself has limits:
  • The report highlights that adaptation itself has limits, which implies that some losses and damages of climate change are inevitable.
  • For example, the report finds that some coastal and polar ecosystems have already reached hard limits in their ability to adapt to a changing climate.

Key message of the report

  • Climate-resilient development: Urgently adopting climate-resilient development a developmental model that integrates both adaptation and mitigation to advance sustainable development for all.
  • Green transition: The report assesses the plethora of technologies and design options, such as solar energy or electric vehicles, that can help countries reduce emissions or become more resilient today at low costs, and in a technically feasible manner.
  • Equity and social justice: Prioritising and addressing equity and social justice in transition processes are shown to be key to climate-resilient development.
  • Net-zero emissions: To achieve climate-resilient development, the world needs to reach net-zero emissions. This may depend on large-scale carbon dioxide removals, which are challenging to achieve.

Progress and gaps in Climate Response

  • Some progress has been made in policies and laws, with the effectiveness of policy tools like carbon markets.
  • The report points out that there are gaps between modelled sustainable pathways and what countries have pledged (ambition gaps) as well as substantial gaps between what countries pledge and what they actually do (implementation gaps).

Way ahead

  • Policy package: Policy packages that comprehensively address climate objectives can help countries meet short-term economic goals.
  • Investment: Delayed action risks locking-in to high carbon infrastructure in this decade, and creating stranded assets and financial instability in the medium term. Therefore, high upfront investments in clean infrastructure are imperative.
  • Financing needs to be increased manyfold: Despite sufficient global capital, both adaptation and mitigation financing need to increase many-fold, between three to six times for annual modelled mitigation investments, from 2020 to 2030.


  • The IPCC AR6 synthesis report provides a blueprint for sustainable development and presents a sobering account of the present and future damages to ecosystems and vulnerable populations. It is crucial for governments and individuals worldwide to act urgently to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and pursue climate-resilient development.



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