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IPCC: CLIMATE CHANGE


In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (top) and lower the global temperature rise, technological measures such as using fossil fuel (below left) and bioenergy (below right) could be utilized to effect change


include the economic benefits gained from reducing the impact of climate change.


Investments in adaption and mitigation measures could not only mean a welcome stimulus for local economies, but it would also divert the increasing costs of developing coping technologies at a later stage to curb the devastating effects of loss of livelihoods and food crises. In fact, when looking at the food production sector more closely, it becomes evident that farming and forestry are currently contributing 24 per cent of the total emissions of greenhouse gases, and hence accelerating potential food shortages.3


Climate change already poses a growing threat of conflict in the Arctic. A report by former US military officers


stated that the prospect of an ice-free Arctic had set off fierce competition for shipping lanes and access to oil.4 If current human behaviour remains unchanged, humans are likely to experience an increase in global temperature above 2°C, which in turn, makes the occurrence and duration of heatwaves more probable. As the Earth becomes warmer, rainfall in wet regions is due to increase, while a decrease in dry regions is likely to be observed. This will lead to food shortages and loss of livelihoods, which in turn might provoke war and mass migration.5


Policymakers are of particular importance in order to champion institutional change, channelling public funds into the right technologies and social practices through legislation


and public outreach. Hence, all three Working Group Reports have been released in a shorter and simplified version so they can be digested by legislators. The synthesis report of all three Reports will be released after consideration in Copenhagen, Denmark taking place from 27 to 31 October this year.


To access full copies of the Working Reports or previous Assessment Reports, please visit: www.ipcc.ch


Endnotes


1. IPPC Media Center 2014, IPCC, accessed 14 May 2014: http://www.ipcc.ch/news_and_ events/press_information.shtml. 2. Carrington, D., 2014: “IPCC climate change report: averting the catastrophe is eminently


affordable”. The Guardian, accessed 14 May 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/environ- ment/2014/apr/13/averting-climate-change- catastrophe-is-affordable-says-ipcc-report-un 3. Thomson Reuters Foundation, “Great opportunities’ in agriculture, forestry to mitigate climate change”: IPCC Chair. Ac- cessed 14 May 2014, http://www.trust.org/ item/20140512024054-em845/ 4. Goldenberg, S. 2014: “Climate change poses growing threat of conflict in the Arctic, report finds”. The Guardian, accessed 14 May 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/environ- ment/2014/may/14/climate-change-arctic- security-threat-report 5. World Bank News, 2014, IPCC Chair: “Delaying Climate Action Raises the Risks and Costs”, accessed 14 May 2014, http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/fea- ture/2014/04/21/ipcc-chair-delaying-climate- action-raises-risks-costs


The Parliamentarian | 2014: Issue Three | 199


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