Latest IPCC report confirms urgency of C40 mission

Earlier this week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the full findings of its latest report on climate change. This report is the fifth such assessment that focuses on the physical science basis of climate change; in 2014 two other IPCC working groups will release reports on the topics of climate change adaptation and mitigation, respectively.

The six-year report process was incredibly complex, combining the work of 259 authors and editors from 39 countries. It cites more than 9,200 scientific publications and was reviewed by 1,089 experts from 55 countries. But the findings are straightforward: climate change is “unequivocal” and “human influence is clear.”

C40’s partners and other world leaders weighed in:

  • The World Bank used the report’s release as an opportunity to announce that it would step up efforts to address emissions and build resilience in climate-vulnerable communities. 
  • ICLEI’s World Mayors Summit coincided with the release of the IPCC report, underscoring the need to scale up local and regional climate action. 
  • UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted the report’s importance to governments around the world and announced he would convene a Climate Summit in September 2014 to catalyze climate talks.

The IPCC report reflects how much our scientific knowledge has advanced -- knowledge that can be used to drive the kinds of climate actions and solutions C40 Cities around the world are already implementing on the ground. Indeed, the C40 was founded by cities for cities with the express purpose of working collaboratively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and take actions posed by climate risks. This latest report confirms that we are on the right track, but also that there is much more to be done – now. If taking action was in the hands of federal governments and international bodies, we might be less optimistic about the future. But knowing what cities are doing and how they are leading the way is cause for great optimism.