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The Briefing

Chair of the Climate Change Advisory Council, Marie Donnelly welcomes the Synthesis Report of the Sixth Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

by Aiken PR


  Wind Farm

The Chair of the Climate Change Advisory Council welcomes the IPCC’s Synthesis Report of the Sixth Assessment Report, which was published today (20 March 2023). The Synthesis Report brings together some of the most critical findings from the three IPCC Working Group reports which were published over the last two years. 

The Synthesis Report reiterates the need for an immediate focus on actions required to achieve the Paris Agreement temperature goals of limiting global warming well below 2˚C and making efforts to limit warming to 1.5˚C. The report is clear that this requires enhanced and accelerated implementation of current policies and enhanced ambition and action at a global level which should be delivered at greater speed and scale.

As the report outlines, any delay in taking action will have significant, far–reaching and long term impacts which will particularly affect younger generations. Children born today will experience a very different climate during their lifetimes compared to those of previous generations. The costs of global inaction or delay will include irreversible impacts such as extinction of species, increases in drought and floods, and loss of coastline. Ireland is not immune to these impacts. If we are to address these era defining issues, locally and globally, Ireland must act in tandem with international partners. 

Commenting on the report, the Chair stated that “I remain concerned that a significant acceleration of existing and planned actions is required for Ireland to achieve its legally binding targets in full and on time. There is an urgent need to decarbonise our economy and society through climate change mitigation while taking account of impacts on the economy, society and environment while ensuring a just transition. Every reduction in emissions in Ireland will make a difference.” 

The report also highlights the important linkages between climate mitigation and adaptation. There are many policy approaches which can reduce emissions and build resilience to the covering areas of the Physical Science Basis; Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability; Mitigation of Climate Change impacts of climate change. The report also notes the reality of “limits to adaptation” and expresses the concern that many impacts are already inevitable at the current level of warming and may be beyond our collective capacity to manage effectively. 

The Chair stated that “Ireland is not sufficiently prepared to adapt to the levels of climate change which we are currently experiencing. Much of our infrastructure was built to cope with the climate of the mid–20th century, and therefore significant efforts are required to ensure resilience to the changed climate of the 21st century. Failure to urgently address these issues will magnify future costs and risks to society. 

“There are significant opportunities to take actions that both reduce our emissions and build our resilience to these changes. These actions typically have significant co–benefits for health, air quality and biodiversity. The time to act is now.” 

The United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, stated that “This report is a clarion call to massively fast–track climate efforts by every country and every sector and on every timeframe. Our world needs climate action on all fronts: everything, everywhere, all at once.” As it stands, it is likely that global temperature increase will exceed 1.5˚C at some point in the near term. 

The report finds that climate resilient development integrates adaptation and mitigation to advance sustainable development for all. This is enabled by increased international cooperation including mobilising and enhancing access to finance, particularly for vulnerable regions, sectors and groups. Stressing the collective nature of the challenge the Chair concluded that “Ireland must continue to make a contribution internationally, both through our own actions and also by helping other countries to develop along a low carbon and sustainable pathway.” 

The report is available at .