IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is a scientific institution founded in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organisation and the United Nations Environment Programme to study global warming and the climate crisis. Periodically, IPCC publishes a report summarising and illustrating the latest research and findings concerning climate. The latest edition was presented on Monday 20 March 2023 and covers eight years of research.
According to IPCC, the overall climate situation is serious but not hopeless, in the sense that action is still possible provided the solutions are immediate and tangible. The main aim is to keep the increase in global warming within the 1.5°C already indicated as the threshold limit at COP 21, the most important climate conference, held in Paris in 2015. In order to keep the temperature increase within one and a half degrees (compared to pre-industrial levels), it is necessary to drastically decrease and finally eliminate emissions of climate-altering gases, carbon dioxide in particular, the main cause of the greenhouse effect. If the safe temperature is exceeded, IPCC warns, many ecosystems will be endangered and the ability of populations to adapt to future climate change will be jeopardised.
Concern is also expressed regarding certain ongoing processes triggered by the greenhouse gases already emitted and which therefore cannot be stopped but only partially mitigated, such as melting ice, rising sea levels, warming and acidification of the oceans, all of them phenomena to which we can only adapt.
Fortunately, the IPCC report also offers hope: if we all act together, institutions as well as people, we can save the climate. But it must be done quickly. What actions are needed? Accelerating the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, reducing consumption, protecting forests, our first and most powerful ally in reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.