The last IPCC warns that even if we limit global warming at 1.5℃ by this
century, we still will be called to face incredibly profound damages to people
and ecosystems. Adaptation to changes alone will not be enough: we need to
drastically cut off on greenhouse emissions to solve this upcoming crisis. In
this sense, it is possible to identify three main takeaways from the report.
First of all, meeting the target of the Paris Agreement would still trigger an
unprecedented crisis: chronic water scarcity, high rates of biodiversity loss,
extreme weather events are only a few examples of what might be ahead of
us. The thing is, this crisis is already happening. What is most worrying,
though, is that the interaction of these phenomena can potentially cascade
into more risks.
On a second stance, the climate change crisis will not target everyone in the
same way: it will hit harder the most marginalized and poor segments of
society. In Africa, for example, climate change is already heavily threatening
agricultural production. Other areas highly affected are also the Caribbeans
and Pacific islands. Moreover, we must consider that the communities emitting
the lower rates of greenhouse gases are also the most targeted by the
consequences of global warming.
Last but not least, IPCC underlines the need to study and put in place
adaptation programs as fast as possible. The window to adapt is quickly
narrowing down: the worsening global warming, the more difficult it will
become to create adaptation plans. These require adequate support, which
means that governments and institutions’ capacity to act is fundamental.
However, adaptation alone cannot fully address the climate crisis. Global
warming can in fact be solved only by cutting back on greenhouse gas
To solve the issue, we should all act together on a global level: on one side, by
guaranteeing an effective adaptation plan to face the inevitable risks; on the
other, by embracing a shift towards a more sustainable way of living.