In March 2014, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a new report on climate change, which has been labelled a “call for action” by the chair of the IPCC as well as climate change scientists and governments around the globe.
We took a look at some of the key responses from experts and leaders around the world to get a sense of the global mood regarding the report’s findings:
The science has spoken. Left unchecked, climate change will have far reaching consequences for our society. This evidence builds the case for early action in the UK and around the world to lessen the risks posed by climate change. We cannot afford to wait.
~ Ed Davey, UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary
The clock is ticking. The more we delay, the greater the threat. Let’s make our political system wake up and let’s make the world respond. Read this report and you can’t deny the reality: Unless we act dramatically and quickly, science tells us our climate and our way of life are literally in jeopardy. Denial of the science is malpractice. There are those who say we can’t afford to act. But waiting is truly unaffordable. The costs of inaction are catastrophic.
~ John Kerry, US Secretary of State
Australia is a land of droughts and flooding rains. Always has been, always will be. The IPCC has been telling us for many years now that we needed to do more. And I’m very happy to do what this government pledged to do before the election, which is to take strong and effective action to deal with climate change. You’ve got to do the right thing, not the wrong thing. You’ve got to have smart policies, not dumb policies. The carbon tax is a very dumb policy. It’s a very expensive policy which has not actually reduced Australia’s emissions.
~ Tony Abbott, Prime Minister of Australia
More knowledge is always good, more action would be even better. When the alarm goes off, many just hit the snooze button. This does not work anymore when it comes to the climate. It’s time to wake up and bring action to the scale needed. Europe is preparing an ambitious reduction target for 2030 to be adopted later this year. I appeal to all major emitters to do the same urgently. It’s time to get serious.
~ Connie Hedegaard, EU Climate Commissioner
The atmosphere can no longer be used as an open sewer. The costs of carbon pollution are clear: decreasing crop yields, more destructive storms, the spreading of tropical diseases to temperate latitudes, rising seas, more climate refugees, failures of governance, increasing floods, deepening droughts, more destructive fires and heat waves – all contributing to the new reality of the global climate crisis. Put together, these factors are already affecting the lives of millions around the world by driving them from their homes, disrupting their livelihoods, and in some cases, further straining destabilized regions.
~ Al Gore, Former US Vice President and climate campaigner