UN Report Affirms the Need for Urgent Action on Climate

The first of three reports finds that the climate is warming at alarming levels, with consequences for communities and for wildlife.

GENEVA (August 9, 2021) – “The IPCC’s report lays out in stark terms what birds and science have been telling us: the climate is changing rapidly, and we must reduce emissions to protect both birds and people,” said Melinda Cep, vice president of natural solutions and working lands. “Addressing climate change should transcend ideology, and inspire bold, nonpartisan solutions from our leaders to respond to this undeniable threat.”

A new report from the primary international body responsible for monitoring and responding to climate change finds that the climate is warming at an untenable rate. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), housed at the United Nations, issued the first of three periodic reports on climate change around the world. Subsequent reports to be released next year will deal with the impacts and solutions to mitigate the effects of the changing climate.

The key findings showed that climate change is affecting every region on Earth, with some effects too extensive to be reversible. It also states that “it is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, oceans and land." The report also says that some of the worst effects can be mitigated, and warming held to 1.5 degrees Celsius, if immediate steps are taken to drastically cut emissions globally.  

In a 2019 report, the National Audubon Society found that two-thirds of North American bird species are at increasing risk of extinction from global temperature rise. Holding that rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius will lower that risk. Lowering emissions, with the ultimate goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, is key to achieving this goal.

“We must seize the moment to make significant investments in technologies and practices that will create a cleaner future for all,” said Cep. “This means increasing our use of renewable energy, supporting and adding to landscapes that serve as natural infrastructure to reduce climate threats, and partnering with stewards of our working lands to adopt practices that capture and store carbon naturally.”

This year, Audubon released a report showing that some of the best landscapes for storing carbon naturally are also important to birds' survival. Maintaining and restoring these climate strongholds are key to reducing emissions and conserving wildlife. Additional measures, like conservation ranching and increasing access to responsibly-sited wind and solar energy will also help hold off the worst effects of climate change.

About Audubon 

The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon's state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon's vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more how to help at www.audubon.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @audubonsociety.


Contact: Robyn Shepherd, robyn.shepherd@audubon.org