Statement: New IPCC report underscores need to act on climate

Media Contacts
Matt Casale

Former Director, Environment Campaigns, PIRG

The panel’s first assessment on climate science since 2013 shows the stark reality of global warming, but offers hope if we act quickly


BOSTON — The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its first global assessment of the science of global warming since 2013 on Monday. The report details the potential catastrophic impacts on the world’s oceans, ice caps and land in the coming decades if we fail to rapidly reduce emissions and meet our climate goals.

In response, Matt Casale, PIRG’s environment campaigns director, issued the following statement: 

“The latest IPCC report confirms what we already know: It is time to act on climate. We’re already seeing the impacts of global warming, and they’re already taking a human toll. We’re just getting to hurricane season now, but 2021 has already been a year for extreme weather. The record-breaking heatwave in the Northwest in June killed 500 people in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Canada. As the new IPCC report makes clear, these events will only get worse if we fail to act.

“But as bad as it might sound, this is not a report to despair over. Because while the consequences of inaction would be catastrophic, there is no reason we can’t still avoid the worst of it. The solutions are at our fingertips. We have to end our reliance on fossil fuels and transition to clean renewable energy, electrified transportation systems and carbon-free buildings. If we do that, we can still rapidly reduce emissions and meet the goals we must meet. And by doing so, we will not only avoid the worst impacts of climate change, but we will also build a better future for our kids and grandkids with cleaner air, cleaner water and healthier communities.”

Morgan Folger, Environment America’s Destination: Zero Carbon campaign director, said:

“Our planet is warming rapidly and the latest IPCC report underscores the urgency for action. There is no single act that will save the world from climate change, but working together we can spark shifts across our society that will reduce harmful planet-warming pollution and help us lead healthier lives.  In the United States, it is time we make real progress on the nation’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions — transportation. Zero emission cars, trucks, buses and trains all have the potential to slow global warming and are healthier for our lungs. Our futures and the future of generations to come rely on our ability to choose cleaner air, cleaner energy, cleaner transportations and cleaner water. Rather than despairing over what we could lose, let’s focus on what we stand to gain by getting to work for a better future.”