Latest IPCC reporting outlines the imperative to investing in climate resilient communities

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a report which comprehensively assesses the global vulnerabilities, adaptation and mitigation for communities.

The report included contributions from 32 authors across the Climate Alliance member universities, including Rebecca Harris from the University of Tasmania who sadly passed shortly before the report was published. The report highlighted the risks and challenges communities are already facing around the world, stating that, “The cumulative scientific evidence is unequivocal: Climate change is a threat to human well-being and planetary health,” With a warning that “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.”

Need a refresher on climate reporting? Climate Explainer 

Five key findings of the report: 

  1. Globally, the health and livelihoods of more than 50% of the population in urban areas are affected by climate change. 
  2. Areas and regions dependent on glacier and snow melt face seasonal reductions in water supply of up to 50%. 
  3. One billion people are at risk of sea level rise by 2050. 
  4. With warming of more than 2 degrees, many measures lose their effect and adaptation is no longer possible. 
  5. Since several risks are occurring at the same time, it is becoming increasingly difficult to manage the impacts. 


Perspectives from our Climate Alliance WGII authors

“We worked on finding out what action is being taken in mountain regions around the globe. Much is already being done when it comes to water, agriculture and disaster prevention, but it’s still insufficient. What’s needed are synergies between mitigation – meaning the reduction of CO2 emissions – adaptation strategies, and sustainable development.”

– Interview with Christian Huggel and Veruska Muccione, Department of Geography. University of Zurich 

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“Our report demonstrates that climate change – including increases in climate hazards such as flooding, drought or cyclones – is already affecting food systems, and particularly food security in vulnerable regions” 

– Bezner Kerr, professor in the Department of Global Development, part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University. 

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“The momentum to make the ocean more transparent requires a coordinated commitment by academia, industry, government and the nonprofit sector to develop new, more comprehensive and less expensive observing systems.” 

– Margaret Leinen is director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography and vice chancellor for Marine Sciences and dean of the School of Marine Sciences at the University of California San Diego.

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The small islands of the Caribbean region face some of the most severe impacts of climate change. These include rising sea levels, increasingly intense precipitation, drought, a higher frequency of more intense storms and hurricanes, and destructive flooding. 

10 urgent takeaways for the Caribbean

Tanya Dellicompagni
Program Manager
International Universities Climate Alliance

About the Climate Alliance 

Climate change targets present the world with both an enormous challenge to overcome and an opportunity to come together, share knowledge and invest in our shared future: this is the core work of universities, and the drive which unites the 50 members of the International Universities Climate Alliance.  Established in April 2020 and convened by the University of New South Wales in Sydney, these leading climate research universities come from every continent, encompassing thousands of the world’s most accomplished climate researchers, including hundreds who have worked as authors of reports for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).