Beyond Code RED : IPCC 2022

Beyond Code RED : IPCC 2022

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Welcome to FacingFuture.TV! I am Raya Salter. According to   a new study released this week, climate change  is causing widespread and irreversible impacts.   The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,  or IPCC, has found that up to 3.6 billion people   live in areas highly vulnerable to climate change  and there are limits to what we can do to adapt.   This is what the UN Secretary General is  calling an ‘Atlas of Human Suffering’.  

With us to discuss this alarming new report is  Dr. Debora Ley, a lead author of the IPCC report,   a climate change specialist and an Officer  with the Economic Commission for Latin   America and the Caribbean. She's joining  us today from Guatemala. Welcome Dr. Ley!   >>>Well, thank you very much,  Raya, for this invitation!   Thank you for the audience who is listening  and thank you for the interest in this report.   >>>Yes, this is an incredible, incredibly alarming  new report and I understand the most detailed   report on the impacts of global warming that  we've seen to date. What does this report tell   us about how the climate crisis is impacting  us now… is it much worse than we thought?   >>>Well, what we… what the report says is  that the impacts that we are seeing now   will continue to worsen, as global  warming levels continue to increase,   so the impacts we are seeing now… we can expect  to continue seeing them in the coming years.  

And in August we have the Working Group I report  on the physical science basis of climate change   which had also indicated that the climate impacts  we've seen... most of them can be attributed to   climate change [all right] caused by human  actions. Yes, so basically what - you know - we   can say when you combine the results of Working  Group I and Working Group II is that the impacts   we are facing now have a direct relationship with  human action. >>>All right! So, I understand that   in 2019 alone, more than 13 million people were  displaced in Asia and Africa, and that roughly   half of the world's population suffers water  scarcity for at least part of the year. So,   help us understand: We're at about a 1.1 percent increase in global temperatures now and we need to  

avoid 1.5 degrees. How much  time do we have to act?  >>>So, the question can be divided in several  parts: one of them is, of course, dealing with   emissions reduction and that will come out in a  month, so the IPCC’s Working Group III report on   mitigation comes out in a month, and they will  have a more detailed assessment on emissions.   But on the side of adaptation, as you have  already clearly indicated, different impacts   like the drought that many people are already  facing, we have a suite of adaptation options   that are feasible in the short term, which  is from now until we reach 1.5 degrees C.   The SPM figure 4 has a feasibility assessment  of these options across six dimensions,   for example - you know - what are the economic…  economics of implementing an option? What is   the cost effectiveness or the technologies?  Are they mature? Are they easily available?   Or social cultural issues… what do they tell  us about intergenera… intergenerational equity   and gender... and gender equity? So, we can  look at how these different adaptation options   can be implemented, and the different regional and  sectoral chapters also point us in some cases to   their effectiveness. But something that is very  clear is that those options are feasible NOW,   but in five years or in 10 years, they might  not be, because, as you said in the beginning,   we might reach limits, and limits means that  an ecosystem can suffer irreversible changes   for which no adaptation measure can  work. >>>So, what I'm hearing you say  

that this report is sending a very sharp warning:  if temperatures keep rising, there's not much   we'll be able to do to fight these impacts and it  will cause human dislocation on a global scale.   Can you help us understand more about these hard  limits that we can't escape? How does the report   come to this conclusion? >>>So hard limits...  if you look at figure 3 on the burning embers,   you can see how there are these vertical bars that  show different types of ecosystems, for example,   warm water coral reefs or mangroves, and when you  look at the colors of the bars: white means that   there's no visible impact, yellow that there  is some impact that is reversible for which   adaptation options exist, red is that there are  many impacts and if temperatures stop increasing,   adaptation options can… might still be able to  work, and purple, which is the top part of it   means that we are… we've already hit irreversible  changes. So, if you look at this figure 3,   you can see that in some regions some ecosystems  have already reached a point of irreversibility,   between 1 and 1.5, I think the most  common example of irreversibility  

is coral reefs. We won't be able to recuperate 100  percent of the coral reefs that have been lost,   but there are other systems like the Arctic -  you know - the melting of glaciers, some coastal   fisheries - you know - populations that live in  coastal areas that depend on artisanal fishing; or   mangroves: some of those depending on  the location are reaching the point   where - you know - a couple more degrees,  and, I mean, decimals of degrees, and we   won't be able to apply adaptation measures,  which is why it is so important to apply   these adaptation measures. We have the opportunity  right now to do it and to save lives and to save   ecosystems. >>>So, we are already at the… past the  point of more… of no return for some of our most   precious ecosystems. You talked before about these  different indicators: intergenerational equity and  

adaptation, gender and adaptation. Could you tell  us more about what is happening there and are   we at the point of no return on those issues as  well? >>>No, not of no return! So, what we looked   at for every single adaptation option, and this  is an extension of the work done in the special   report on global warming at 1.5 degrees C, is  the multi-dimensional feasibility assessment   breaks down the assessment of each option  in six dimensions and 19 indicators.   We don't have sufficient evidence for all of the  indicators, I mean, in some cases monitoring and   evaluation is not done; in some cases, it's done  looking at - you know - specific features, for   example, economics or technology. We're trying to  gather more information, more evidence on the part  

of social cultural dimensions, but what is clear,  what we are seeing now is that gender plays a huge   role - you know - you always see the statement  that women and children are more vulnerable,   and that equity plays an important role in how  we shape our future pathways, so these are areas   in which definitely more evidence is needed.  But what we are seeing is that when there is   no gender equity or no intergenerational  equity, then the feasibility of the   option is lower, and the effectiveness can also  be lower. >>>So, what I'm hearing is that we still   have time, but if we don't impact and focus on  women and children and intergenerational equity,   we will be less effective in our ability  to counter these impacts or adapt. >>>Yes,   that is correct, and I think that's one of the  core messages of the report. Moving on to figure   5 on climate resilient development pathways.  That actually is underpinned by justice,  

by equity, by - you know - bringing those most  vulnerable to the table, to give them a voice, to   include the most marginalized  populations of how we can include   indigenous populations and their  knowledge; how can we use that - you know.   One of the things that you'll see in figure 5,  for example, is that to start with… to achieve   climate resilient development, we are talking  about integrating mitigation options that reduce   emissions with adaptation options, that reduce  risks, to achieve sustainable development.   We and… although we mentioned sustainable  development goals specifically, we want to make   clear that this also goes beyond 2030. >>>Got  it! So... >>>Sorry! Go ahead! >>>No, so while   justice and fundamental fairness  are clearly a part of this picture,   it's also… I'm hearing an imperative  that we focus on indigenous stewardship   and other techniques that prioritize the most  vulnerable. >>>Yes, so, as you can see, for   example, in panel (a) of this figure we have what  we call ‘arenas of engagement’, which are spaces   in which civil society… in which people - you know  - all of us citizens in this world can engage,   whether it be political arenas, environmental  arenas - you know - whether it's in a town hall   with your elected government officials or whether  it's in a protected area fighting for the rights   of the populations living there or just to protect  Nature because of a certain species, for example,   those are the areas in which we  can all participate. And what we  

highlight in panel(a) is that societal choices are  the drivers of how these pathways are chosen. So,   it's not just up to government - you know - when  we say that governmental policies don't work; it's   that civil society, all of us, have a role - you  know – like, for example, the role you have in   disseminating this information, and in translating  scientific terms into - you know - like guiding   me how to break down this conversation, so it's  more understandable. So, what you see in panel (a)   is how these societal choices function to - you  know - to determine which pathways we're going to…   we're going to choose. So, in panel (b) you  can see the different pathways and then in   panel (c) you have two illustrative outcomes:  one, in which you have equity and justice and   environmental stewardship, which is what we all  aim to, and I think besides the part of equity   and justice and the arenas of engagement, there's  two other really important messages tied to this:   that we only have one decade in which  to act, to achieve this transformation,   because otherwise it will be too late, and  the other message is that actions have to keep   in mind both humans and Nature; we need  to ensure a healthy Nature to ensure   the well-being of humans. So, this is not  just Nature and looking at Nature and seeing   what services we can take from them or - you  know - where it's useful to us, but just in   protecting Nature because of what it is, we need  a healthy planet, and we need healthy ecosystems   in order to survive. >>>Tell me more about the  role of ecosystems in adaptation and survival.

>>>So, thank you for this really important  question! Adaptation, I mean, ecosystems give   us multiple services. For example: water. If  we don't protect forests, we don't have enough   water sources, just as an example, or if we  don't have correct agricultural practices, then   we suffer problems of food insecurity and if you  look, for example, at the wildfires that happened   in California and all throughout the world in the  last summers, you see that it doesn't only have   a damage to the forest, but - you know - also all  the wildlife that lived there - you know - all the   biodiversity and all the other services we would  get from forest. You can see that after you don't   have forest fires, but then comes the rainy  season and then you have these huge mudslides   that you can… then the risks get compounded or  multiplied, when you have vulnerable populations   living nearby or populations that are already  suffering from water drop, from water scarcity, so   options that help - you know - like forest-based  adaptation options or efficient irrigation or   some agriculture… agroecology practices  can help… can help us use Nature to adapt   while - you know - helping us as humans adapt, but  also helping the ecosystem adapt. So, for example,   different types of forest protection and  restoration also work. >>>So, again, as we've gone  

beyond preserving and protecting Nature because  of its inherent beauty and the dignity of life   being an actual imperative. And let me ask one  of the... another big piece of this report:   who are the most vulnerable? And this study draws  that scientific connection from global warming to   extreme weather and other impacts much more  directly than we've understood it before. So,   who is it that is the most vulnerable and how can  we tell? >>>Well, vulnerability is… the people   most vulnerable, I know, we've always heard,  and I said before, about women and children,   elderly, but there's also people living  in poverty, people living, for example,   in unsafe conditions like in informal settlements  or rural areas that lack basic services,   that don't have radio communications systems, that - you know - can't access   weather information or data or other type of  climate services. Those are the people most  

at risk, people living in isolated, precarious  conditions. >>>Are there also regional - you   know - intensities of impact. We understand that  the Global South is going to experience climate   crisis first and worse. What does that report tell  us about that regional vulnerability? >>>Well,   I think, in terms of regional vulnerability,  definitely island nations and coastal areas are   one of the most vulnerable, but also, we see  areas in Africa, South Asia, Central America,   parts of - you know - parts of North  America areas where there's a lot of   poverty, for example, also create a lot of  vulnerability. >>>So, this one thing here is   that it brings validity, or at least some hard  evidence, to this concept of loss and damage,   where many nations in the Global South have  been pushing global elites in the wealthier   countries to do more to compensate them for that  irreversible loss and harm they will experience.  

What can this… how can this report inform this  concept of loss, disproportionate and irreversible   loss and damage? >>>Yeah, so, in the summary for  policymakers you can read about that in Section   C3, but what we're basically saying is that  loss and damage is more than just impacts; it's   systems or knowledge that are or - you know - like  in some cases, cultures that we can't get back,   like - you know - when we talk about  limits, when you reach a hard limit,   you have a loss - you know - like with the coral  reefs, with part of different - you know - when   people have to evacuate and migrate and you're  leaving your culture and your history behind.   That's the loss. And losses, and damages are not  always economic and that's something that we also   need to keep in mind. You can't always quantify  monetarily, because some are - you know - how do   you put a price on losing an ecosystem or all the  species extinct - you know - like when you lose   a species and especially now, when we're talking  about losing a species due to climate change - you   know - so we also need to keep in mind that  there are non-economic losses. >>>There's   no price to put on something so precious as  ecosystems and biodiversity in life itself.   How does the… help me understand how is  it that the science can draw ties between   what's happening in the atmosphere and what's  happening on the ground? Any particular   tornado or particular event? >>>So,  that's a science called ‘attribution’   in which different models are run. That's more  of Working Group I, so I don't run those models.  

I couldn't explain more of that, but for those  interested you can look at attribution studies,   in which you take an event and they basically  do modeling of how this event would look like   without human interference. >>>All right! Is it  fair to say that this study has used the most   sort of up-to-date attribution and thus is help  - you know - is the sort of latest science on   how we can understand attribution in a more direct  way? >>>Yes, so Working Group I was like the most   recent up-to-date study on the science of it  and Working Group II results also take into   account Working Group I findings. >>>Got it!  >>>So, like in the different projections we do   like in the burning embers figure 3 of the summary  for policy makers, you can see those are also   results that took in Working Group I findings.  >>>Got it! In this analysis, in this situation,   are there any nations or peoples that are spared  from the climate crisis? >>>No! Each region will   be impacted. >>>Yeah, each region...>>>You gave  me [unclear] like… NO! >>>Sorry for being so   stark, but no, I mean, every country even -  you know - when you talk about Global North,   for example, you can see in the United  States, different countries of Europe,   the levels of devastation that there are  because of wildfires, because of floods,   so, yeah, sadly 'NO', which is why  it's even more important to stress   that we have this small window of  opportunity to act, and we can't lose time.   >>>This is… another conclusion from this report is  that we're simply not doing enough; we're failing   to act on climate and as the Secretary General  said, we are getting clobbered by climate change.

>>>Yes, and I think, right now we can say  that - you know - the window of opportunity   for implementing adaptation options will close, as  long as global warming levels keep increasing, so   it again emphasizes the point of where  mitigation and adaptation need to come…   need to come together. But... Yeah, one other  thing - you know - when we talk about - you   know - even implementing adaptation that we can't  just do more of what we've been doing, so there's   clearly an adaptation gap between the needs,  adaptation needs, and what we have on the ground,   and, of course, on financing, the most of which  is going to emissions reductions projects,   but also that we can't keep doing adaptation as  we currently do it… we… in some cases we need to   help change the attributes of a system, so, for  example, there are some examples of communities   that used to - you know - their main income, their  livelihood source, was in agriculture. Now their   land is not - you know - is not able to sustain  crops, and some of them have changed to either   growing flowers or ecotourism to show that -  you know - to show people the devastation of   climate change, and that is more what we call  ‘transformational’, because it makes people change   their way of life - you know - it's like you have  to train again; you have to study new things - you   know - learn new things. It's not the same as selling - you know - whether it be rice or corn,  

to flowers or even ecotourism, and how you deal  with tourists - you know - so those are the types   of changes that we will need to see more in the  coming years. The other major transformation that   the report also points out in trying to achieve  climate resilient development pathways is what   we call ‘system transitions’, so we cannot  work in sectors anymore as we've been doing,   and this is a concept that came out of the special  report on global warming at 1.5, but basically,   when we work at a systems level, we can better  integrate mitigation and adaptation options;   we can better take advantage of the synergies and  reduce the trade-offs, because we all know that   there are mitigation options that increase…  increase vulnerability. But there are also   adaptation options that can increase emissions -  you know - so where do we come with that balance   to ensure no one is left behind, to ensure we're  not exacerbating poverty, to ensure that everybody   is sure to ensure that we have equity, that  we're not endangering food security, for example.   >>>What does it mean to work on a systems, a - you  know - on a systems level on these transitions?   What does it mean? What does the report recommend?  >>>So, for example, we have… the biggest system   transition right now is on land, oceans,  and ecosystems, basically bringing together   food, water, forest, oceans, coastal areas - you  know - recognizing that whatever action you take   in a forest can impact agriculture, or  vice versa. Actions that you take to…  

for agriculture can impact forests, can impact  the water supply, but that same water supply can   impact cities or rural settlements; and can  impact the way we use or generate energy.   So, what we need to see now is that  there is an interconnectedness with   everything. >>> [That's...] So how… what is mal…  this idea of maladaptation - you know - I heard   you speak to... there are things that we can do  as we're trying to adapt with short-term thinking   but could actually make things worse. What is  this idea of maladaptation and why is it such a   problem? >>>Well, mal adaptation happens sometimes  because we aren't planning correctly, because   we don't take everybody into consideration - you  know - everybody of the population that's at risk,   because we don't have enough funding, because we -  you know - in some cases we have found that there   are sustainable development or poverty alleviation  projects that are mislabeled as ‘adaptation’,   and while they can reduce poverty to some segment  of the population, they don't reduce vulnerability   in general, and that's a problem. And, I  think, one of the examples that we listed,  

for example, of sea walls and in coastal  areas how - you know - if properly done,   it can reduce vulnerability, but in some  cases, they can actually hurt Nature's... ...sea walls, can work  against Nature's own ability,   and that - in some cases - it has  gone to mal- adaptation. Sometimes,   for example, not taking into consideration  indigenous populations and indigenous knowledge,   so that's something we need to be aware of.  >>>Can technology get us out of this problem?  

>>>I'm...not always… I think, technology is an  enabler. I think technology - I think - technology   helps, and we need to know how to use it, I mean  technology - you know - especially when we talk,   for example, about climate services  and how climate information is shared,   and yes, there are some technologies  that can help us, but technologies alone   can't do the job, because - you know - together  - you know - now that I'm talking about enablers,   you brought out a really important point that we  have all this - you know - the suite of adaptation   options, but they can be effective and they can  be feasible, but, for example, if we don't have   technology, if we don't have robust institutions,  if we don't have strong governance structures,   if we don't have appropriate knowledge systems  and monitoring and evaluation, then they won't   be as effective or as feasible. >>>But that's  incredibly helpful. I'm… am I correct that a   lot of these 3.6 billion people the report talks  about who are really under threat are in cities  

and what is the role of cities in this solution?  >>>Well, cities play a really important role,   because it is predicted that almost 70 percent of  the global population will be living in cities in   the next coming years, so cities play an important  role, and I think that… well, I mean, the report   states that adaptation options within cities  are important - you know - how to include - for   example - green infrastructure of how you can  bring in more of Nature of greening areas, how   to deal with the heat island effect; how to ensure  you have - you know - resilient infrastructure,   not just in buildings or roads, but like energy.  How to keep your energy systems working and   telecommunication systems, so it is very important  for urban settings - you know - for cities, for   informal settlements, and also for rural  populations. >>>It's so… this is interesting   as well, because as I understand we have this  really short window to act and it's so important   on many levels because, as you mentioned, for  instance, we need to address urban heat islands   and have green infrastructures and trees and if  we don't act, impacts could actually accelerate to   that near-term action not being effective.  So, what it… tell me more about this window  

and what should we be doing? >>>Well, the window  is - you know - as I said, we need to start   acting in the next decade - you know - these  transformations of not working in sectors,   but by system transition. We need to start doing  that. We need to start looking at how mitigation   actions can increase or decrease vulnerability  - you know - that the sole objective is not   reduce emissions or like obviously an adaptation  case reduced vulnerability but keeping… ensure   that - you know - the most vulnerable people are  heard and the most marginalized. There's also   other adaptation options that can help the most  vulnerable populations, like social safety nets,   public work programs, cash transfers, public  health systems. I think the report right now   for the first time mentions mental health that  needs… that have to be addressed with each extreme   weather event. So, it's not working on each option  in isolation, and I think that the main message of  

the special report of 1.5 - you know - saying that  there isn't one single option that will get us to   our goal - you know - that's really amplified here  in that you can't use these options in isolation.   For example, disaster risk management and  climate services, early warning systems,   can help enhance other adaptation options, whether in energy sector or in agriculture,   and these other options of social safety nets  also work throughout - you know - like having   health systems. >>>This is really  important. I'm understanding that  

sustainable development, just sustainable  development pathways, it's not just   about - you know – people; should we need to  help people because it's the right thing to do   and those same people are going to be the first  to be hit by climate crisis. It's that part of the   answer, this system's transition and meeting basic  needs is actually part of our climate adaptation,   and I presume mitigation answer. >>>Yes,  absolutely, and so when we stress about   the window - you know - that it's narrowing is… if  global warming levels keep increasing, the options   that we will have, that we have available  today, might not be available in five years   or in ten years. This, I mean, the world we see  today will not be the same world in 10 years.   >>>If there's one, it's not the right question  given the… given what we've been talking about   systems change, but if there was one thing or one  suite of things that you should say we need to do   tomorrow: we need to start doing  tomorrow… what would that be? >>>Wow, one thing! >>>Maybe it's to… not think about it as one thing,  because maybe that would be the first thing…   >>>Well, no, I think to read the report  and to listen to this... to this recording,  

but I think that we need to realize that - you  know - civil society has a very important role.   This is not just up to governments or scientists -  you know - civil society has a very important role   and, again, I'm focusing on panel (a) of figure  5 on the arenas of engagement; that's the space   where everybody jumps in - you know - there are  multiple places, there are multiple arenas, and we   have a range of actors, we are all actors in this.  >>>Dr. Ley at that ending with that because I can   be… I think, very overwhelming to folks to hear  this information and to realize that we really   are the answer. And the first thing that we can  do is get aware, I think, is very empowering and   makes me feel optimistic. As much as we have such  a short window. Thank you! >>>There is a ray of   hope. There is a ray of hope. We have the decade!  >>>A ray of hope, we have the decade, and we have   to act now. Thank you so very much for joining us  and thank you for joining us with FacingFuture.TV.


2022-03-08 12:07

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