On the 20th of March, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a synthesis report of the Assessment Report n.o. 6 (AR6). This report guides the way of international climate action for the coming decade as the next IPCC report is due only in 2030. You have probably heard of IPCC and AR6, but it might seem unclear how exactly it is relevant for you as a member of a community or organisation. How can you use this information to increase employee engagement on sustainability? In this blog post you can read about what the IPCC does and how it relates to your ambitions for climate change adaptation strategies.
What is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC?
The IPCC is a body of the United Nations, set up by the world governments, to assess the science related to climate change. Its reports are written by climate scientists, but the policy recommendations for climate change adaptation strategies are scrutinised by government representatives.
What is the Sixth Assessment Report?
The IPCC has a mission by more than 190 governments to investigate and assess the state of knowledge about climate change. Over the three decades it has published six assessment reports. The most recent one came out in three sections in 2021 and 2022. The sections were: physical science of climate change; impacts, adaptation and vulnerability; and mitigation of climate change. The most recent report that came out in March 2023 does not add new knowledge but synthesises all of the findings and gives policy recommendations.
What policy recommendations are given?
The report states that with the current rates of global emission mitigation, the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees will not be achieved. This makes the contexts of every second person on Earth highly vulnerable to climate impacts, making climate change adaptation strategies a necessary way to complement climate mitigation.
However, the report also tells us that with the knowledge, technology, and the quantity of global finance available to us, curbing emissions is within our reach. Therefore, the report urges all actors to reach net zero emissions as fast as possible. And the faster, the better.
What does this mean for communities and organisations?
The pressure to have “deep, rapid and sustained” emissions cuts is mounting, which is likely to result in more climate laws and more state support toward the green transition. Technology is being developed to help assess the effectiveness of mitigation efforts, for example. In the meantime, while finance is still scarce, planning of climate change adaptation strategies and their implementation is surging.
It’s evident that the entire society will need to shift from the fossil fuel status-quo into a new sustainable era. The task may seem daunting, but as the IPCC report shows, we have the knowledge and resources to do it! There are tons of positive examples on how the climate change adaptation strategies are being put to practice across the board. In our work we get to witness how unique climate leaders take action at grassroots to create change within their sphere of influence. We have worked with…
- A company in Australia that initiated discussions to increase employee engagement on sustainability by cutting their work week into four days. This is both in line with decreasing workplace emissions, but also gives the opportunity to the employees to take up climate jobs, e.g. joining voluntary fire squads to put down forest fires.
- A company in the Netherlands, which discusses incorporating circular water systems at their office, and allowing employees to adjust work schedules during heatwaves. Furthermore, they have made a commitment to increase the understanding of the emission footprint of their suppliers.
- Communities and organisations in various parts of Kenya that are joining forces to develop a game-based advocacy tool that would both increase local knowledge about climate change and enable people in vulnerable positions to share their experiences with those in power to make a change.
Climate change adaptation strategies are unique to each organisation and community. In our experience, teamwork is the key to start discovering how you can mitigate or adapt to the changing climate. Join the incremental change happening all around the world with your own employee engagement on sustainability!
Want to get inspired and initiate discussion of how you can reach the net zero within your organisation or community? Explore our Dialogue Day and Game Day and get in touch to see how we can help you get started.
Author: Minja Sillanpää
Minja has a MSc in Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation from Lund University. She believes fostering justice, participation and creativity are gateways to meaningful climate engagement, and is fascinated by the incredible harmony of ecosystems as well as human adaptiveness.