SDG17

We have a brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.

The cumulative scientific evidence is unequivocal: Climate change is a threat to human well-being and planetary health. Any further delay in concerted anticipatory global action on adaptation and mitigation
will miss a brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.
(very high confidence)

Summary for Policymakers (SPM) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
– Climate Change 2022 Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability

Figure SPM.1: This report has a strong focus on the interactions among the coupled systems climate, ecosystems (including their biodiversity), and human society. These interactions are the basis of emerging risks from climate change, ecosystem degradation, and biodiversity loss and, at the same time, offer opportunities for the future. (a) Human society causes climate change. Climate change, through hazards, exposure and vulnerability generates impacts and risks that can surpass limits to adaptation and result in losses and damages. Human society can adapt to, maladapt, and mitigate climate change, ecosystems can adapt and mitigate within limits. Ecosystems and their biodiversity provision livelihoods and ecosystem services. Human society impacts ecosystems and can restore and conserve them. (b) Meeting the objectives of climate-resilient development thereby supporting human, ecosystem, and planetary health, as well as human well-being, requires society and ecosystems to move over (transition) to a more resilient state. The recognition of climate risks can strengthen adaptation and mitigation actions and transitions that reduce risks. Taking action is enabled by governance, finance, knowledge and capacity building, technology, and catalyzing conditions. Transformation entails system transitions strengthening the resilience of ecosystems and society (Section D). In a) arrow colors represent principle human society interactions (blue), ecosystem (including biodiversity) interactions (green), and the impacts of climate change and human activities, including losses and damages, under continued climate change (red). In b) arrow colors represent human system interactions (blue), ecosystem (including biodiversity) interactions (green), and reduced impacts from climate change and human activities (grey). {1.2, Figure 1.2, Figure TS.1}

This report recognizes the interdependence of climate, ecosystems, biodiversity, and human societies
(Figure SPM.1) and integrates knowledge more strongly across the natural, ecological, social, and economic
sciences than earlier IPCC assessments. The assessment of climate change impacts and risks as well as
adaptation is set against concurrently unfolding non-climatic global trends e.g., biodiversity loss, overall
unsustainable consumption of natural resources, land and ecosystem degradation, rapid urbanization, human
demographic shifts, social and economic inequalities, and a pandemic.

The scientific evidence for each key finding is found in the 18 chapters of the underlying report and in the 7
cross-chapter papers as well as the integrated synthesis presented in the Technical Summary (hereafter TS)
and referred to in curly brackets {}. Based on scientific understanding, key findings can be formulated as
statements of fact or associated with an assessed level of confidence using the IPCC calibrated language. The
WGII Global to Regional Atlas (Annex I) facilitates the exploration of key synthesis findings across the WGII
regions.

The concept of risk is central to all three AR6 Working Groups. A risk framing and the concepts of adaptation,
vulnerability, exposure, resilience, equity and justice, and transformation provide an alternative, overlapping,
complementary, and widely used entry points to the literature assessed in this WGII report.
Across all three AR6 working groups, risk provides a framework for understanding the increasingly severe,
interconnected, and often irreversible impacts of climate change on ecosystems, biodiversity, and human
systems; differing impacts across regions, sectors, and communities; and how to best reduce adverse consequences for current and future generations. In the context of climate change, risk can arise from the
dynamic interactions among climate-related hazards6 (see Working Group I), the exposure, and vulnerability of affected human and ecological systems. The risk that can be introduced by human responses to climate change is a new aspect considered in the risk concept. This report identifies 127 key risks. {1.3,
16.5}

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