GENEVA (April 4, 2022) – “Through our observations, birds are telling us that every kind of habitat is experiencing climate threats,” said Sarah Rose, vice president of climate at the National Audubon Society. “This urgent report affirms that we still have the power to ease some of the worst consequences, but only if we take immediate action. It is up to us to work together to preserve a cleaner future for all living things.”
The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) addresses how to mitigate the effects of climate change by reducing emissions and slowing the rate of global temperature rise. The report from the IPCC – the United Nations organization responsible for monitoring and responding to climate change -- was preceded by two additional reports that established the scope of climate change and offered suggestions on how to adapt to a changing climate, respectively.
Today’s report states that we have the technology and the know-how to potentially halve emissions by 2030, but despite recent progress, we are running out of time to make meaningful change. The report discusses methods for reducing emissions across sectors including energy, transportation, agriculture, working lands, urban spaces, and rural development. The report further calls for any mitigation efforts to consider the cultural and social contexts of the communities most affected, especially lower-income communities and countries that bear the brunt of climate change despite the fact that most emissions are created by wealthier countries.
“Increased action must begin this year, not next year; this month, not next month; and indeed today, not tomorrow,” said Inger Andersen, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program at the report’s release. “Otherwise we will, as the UN Secretary General put it, continue to sleepwalk into a climate catastrophe.”
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 know what we have to do to avoid the worst effects of a changing climate, we only need the will to act,” said Rose. “This is an issue that transcends politics, backgrounds, and geography. It is in our collective best interest to meet the challenge before us by investing in renewable energy, natural climate solutions to carbon storage, and other measures that maintain and restore our vital resources.”
Last 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.
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.
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