International Report Underscores Urgent Need for Climate Action Before It Is Too Late

Aug 9, 2021 10:35 AM ET
Press Release

August 9, 2021 /3BL Media/ - Governments must urgently move to prevent the worst impacts of the global climate crisis, the sustainability nonprofit Ceres said following the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report. Compiling the most recent climate research, the report presents dire findings that underscore the severe impacts of the crisis, and warns that the planet is at risk of failing to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and the necessary reductions in greenhouse gas emissions without immediate policy changes.

The report further solidifies the scientific evidence that human activities are causing extreme weather and other effects on the planet, while forecasting more intense impacts than scientists previously expected. Additionally, the IPCC said, the path to limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels is narrowing, requiring governments to take action now both to meet that crucial benchmark and to adopt the resiliency initiatives that will protect their nations, economies, and people. 

“In a summer that has been wrought with devastation from extreme wildfires, droughts, and floods, the IPCC report makes soberingly clear that things keep getting worse. As the second largest polluter in the world, the US has a responsibility to act now to turn things around. The time for urgent action from every investor, business and government alike has never been more needed,” said Ceres CEO and president Mindy Lubber. “Given the findings of this report and the increasing scope and scale of the climate crisis, we need an all-hands-on-deck approach with collaboration between public and private sectors and within industries to protect our economic stability and limit the risk of catastrophe that already threatens communities across the nation and the globe. For governments, that means immediately putting climate action at the top of the priority list to make rapid progress toward the goals of the Paris Agreement. For investors and companies, it means doubling down on urgent efforts to reduce their own carbon footprints, while also going beyond that to push for robust climate policies at all levels of government.”

The report comes in advance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, adding to the pressure for governments across the world to revitalize their climate commitments and take more aggressive measures to confront the crisis prior to the November conference.

In June, Ceres, along with our global partners, coordinated hundreds of investors that collectively oversee more than $41 trillion calling on governments across the world to significantly strengthen their near-term emission reduction targets prior to COP26 and to implement policies to achieve these goals. The investors emphasized the massive financial and systemic risks of climate change, which threatens to reduce economic output and productivity, as well as the enormous economic opportunity in developing and deploying clean technology and infrastructure to achieve the goals of the Paris accord. Ceres has also organized investors and companies to press for the U.S. Congress to prioritize needed climate policies and investments in this summer’s infrastructure negotiations, including through the America Is All In advocacy day on Capitol Hill in July.

“In the coming weeks, as we move closer to COP26, we, along with investors and companies, call on the U.S. Congress to take the findings of this report seriously and pass bold climate legislation to dramatically reduce emissions, protect communities that have suffered the most from pollution, and set an example of leadership for the rest of the world in building a just and inclusive clean economy,” Lubber said. 

Ceres is a nonprofit organization working with the most influential capital market leaders to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. Through our powerful networks and global collaborations of investors, companies and nonprofits, we drive action and inspire equitable market-based and policy solutions throughout the economy to build a just and sustainable future. For more information, visit ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.