Washington (AFP) – Secretary of State John Kerry Friday called the latest report on climate change by an influential UN panel “yet another wakeup call,” urging strong action to battle its impacts.
“This isn’t a run of the mill report to be dumped in a filing cabinet. This isn’t a political document produced by politicians. It’s science,” Secretary of State John Kerry said, in a strongly worded statement responding to the findings in the first volume of a long-awaited review. “If ever there were an issue that demanded greater cooperation, partnership, and committed diplomacy, this is it.”
Kerry called the report “yet another wakeup call: Those who deny the science or choose excuses over action are playing with fire.”
He added: “The costs of inaction grow beyond anything that anyone with conscience or common sense should be willing to even contemplate.”
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said it was 95 percent convinced humans had caused more than half of the last six decades’ worth of warming.
The Nobel-winning group predicted temperatures would rise from 0.3 to 4.8 degrees Celsius (0.5-8.6 degrees Fahrenheit) this century, and that sea levels would rise between 26 and 82 centimeters (10.4 and 32.8 inches) by 2100.
“Only action by human beings can save the world from its worst impacts,” Kerry said. “With those stakes, the response must be all hands on deck.”
He pledged the United States would work with its allies on “ambitious actions to reduce emissions, transform our energy economy, and help the most vulnerable cope with the effects of climate change.”
The new document is the first volume in a trilogy that will seek to summarize the status of global warming and its impacts.
The IPCC has delivered four previous assessment reports in its 25-year history.
Each edition has pounded out an ever-louder drumbeat to warn that temperatures are rising and the risk to the climate system — in drought, floods, storms and rising seas — is accentuating.