Human-induced climate change is causing dangerous and widespread disruption in nature and affecting the lives of billions of people around the world, despite efforts to reduce the risks.

According to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released this week the world faces unavoidable multiple climate hazards over the next two decades with global warming of 1.5°C (2.7°F).

IPCC chair, Hoesung Lee said the report is a dire warning about the consequences of inaction.

“It shows that climate change is a grave and mounting threat to our wellbeing and a healthy planet. Our actions today will shape how people adapt and nature responds to increasing climate risks,” Lee said.

The report calls for rapid, deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

“So far, progress on adaptation is uneven and there are increasing gaps between action taken and what is needed to deal with the increasing risks,” the report said.

This report is the second instalment of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), which will be completed this year.

The Climate Council’s director of research Dr Simon Bradshaw said Australia is one of the most vulnerable developed countries in the world.


“Right now, communities in Southeast Queensland and Northern NSW are being pummelled by extraordinarily intense rainfall and flooding. These communities have hardly had time to recover from past disasters and again they’re facing profound heartbreak and loss,” Bradshaw said.

“Increasingly, we see that communities are being hit with one disaster after another, like drought followed by fire, followed by flood. The compounding effect of these disasters is taking a heavy toll.”

Climate Council economist, Nicki Hutley, said anyone who thinks climate action is "not a race" has obviously not read this report.

“The IPCC report makes it clear that Australia's economy faces significant and growing economic challenges due to climate change,” Hutley said.

“However, it is also clear that urgent emission reductions through renewable energy and new clean industries could see us avoid the worst financial shocks and bring about incredible economic opportunities, especially for our regions.

“The first movers in the new industrial revolution will take first, second and third prize. Sadly for Australia, the Morrison Government is moving at a snail's pace.”

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