CAPE reacts to the IPCC Assessment Report

Today the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its 6th Assessment Report. Scientists reviewed more than 14,000 publications to bring us the most up-to-date information on current and projected impacts of climate change to our health, wellbeing, and communities. 

As a community committed to planetary health and the health of future generations, this report is a difficult read. At 1 degree of warming today, it will surprise few that we are already experiencing substantial and severe climate change impacts to health. The last few years have seen a redoubling of the call to fight for 1.5 – to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This report both reinforces the need for this limit and demonstrates the need for an immediate, rapid end to our reliance on fossil fuels.

The scientific and policy expertise to transition away from fossil fuels has existed for years. What we continue to lack is political leadership at all levels of government that will make the very, very bold changes needed. Today. We know first hand that the health of our communities is on the line. Transition is inevitable – either our political leaders ensure that Canada is ready to meet the challenges of mitigation and adaptation or the upcoming years will catch us unprepared. 

We have all the solutions we need and staying under 1.5 degrees is still possible. Any warming avoided is good for human health and the steps to get to a safer planet enable healthier, happier lives. Today’s IPCC report reinforces the need for change. 

On the cusp of a likely federal election in Canada, political leaders need to read the IPCC report, look their constituents in the eyes, and tell us their plan to ensure a healthy future for generations to come.