Stark IPCC Report Highlights Need for Swift, Decisive Global Climate Action

WASHINGTON  – The first assessment in eight years from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released today highlights the need for swift action by policymakers in the United States and abroad to address the increasing impacts of climate change, which are severe and threaten people worldwide.

The following is a statement by Mitchell Bernard, president of NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council):

“This is an all-hands-on-deck moment. If we fail—and we must not—millions of people will suffer unbearable hardship, loss and even death from climate catastrophe. The dire IPCC report makes abundantly clear that policymakers everywhere must take swift, decisive action to combat global climate change. They must slash harmful pollution, hasten the transition to clean and safe sources of energy while safeguarding the most vulnerable communities and making them more resilient to the devastating havoc wrought by climate change.

“A world besieged by raging wildfires, massive floods, extreme heat, tropical cyclones and killer storms—all supercharged by climate change—is already upon us. We still have time to take the necessary actions to limit the Earth’s warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). But that window is fast closing. So, we must act immediately.

“The most significant next step in the U.S. is to overcome opposition from the fossil fuel industry and enablers in Congress by passing President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, which weds an equitable recovery with climate action. Globally, countries must commit to deeper cuts in climate pollution, stop destroying intact forests, protect nature and build resilient communities. In addition, financiers must stop backing fossil fuel infrastructure and extraction. They all need to act like there’s no tomorrow; it’s that stark.”

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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