[PRESS RELEASE] Even a small increase in global warming will have profound impacts on communities, new ACT report finds.

Climate change experts from the ACT Alliance network have published a report assessing the threats posed by climate change on the sustainable development goals (SDG) and disaster risk reduction. The report finds that warming of 1.5°C will severely impact climate-vulnerable developing countries, and urges more ambitious climate action. The report also identifies policy recommendations to maintain the possibility of staying at 1.5°C global warming.

Titled ‘Enhanced Climate Action in Response to 1.5°C Global Warming: Scaling up Nationally Determined Contributions,’ the research focuses on climate impacts in particularly climate-sensitive regions in which ACT members and partners are present. The report features case studies from the Marshall Islands, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Jordan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Central America (including El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua), and the European Union. 

Bold climate commitments are needed by 2020 to respond to the risks of 1.5°C warming, as highlighted in the IPCC Special Report earlier this year. The authors state that climate change is affecting the most vulnerable populations and is hindering progress made towards the SDGs, particularly the goals related to poverty, health, water and sanitation.

“We are running out of time. As caretakers of creation, we need to hold governments to account and we must take action to prevent any further risk to human life and dignity. Commitments and messages of solidarity must be transformed into concrete climate action so that support is provided to those most in need,” said Rudelmar Bueno de Faria, General Secretary of ACT Alliance.

Africa and Asia are projected to experience 75 per cent of the global risks associated with increased temperatures, putting a tremendous burden on governments to achieve the SDGs.

“Without effectively aligning 1.5°C-consistent national mitigation and adaptation action with SDGs and disaster risk reduction goals, sustainable development will remain an illusion, leaving behind hundreds of millions of people,” the report reads.

ACT’s call for action is further rooted in the experiences of ACT members who note that climate change is depriving poor and vulnerable people of their fundamental human right to be free from hunger and extreme poverty. The report notes that scaled-up climate action to reduce climate impacts around the world is a humanitarian, human rights, development and justice imperative.

The report provides a ten-step plan of action for all governments to respond to the risks of 1.5°C global warming including; undertaking a gap analysis; ratcheting up mitigation; fostering climate resilience, and scaling up climate finance to name a few.

The next round of climate negotiations (COP24) is less than one week away and provides governments with another opportunity to increase their climate commitments towards the 1.5°C temperature target. ACT Alliance will present the report to government and civil society alike at a side event at COP24.

‘Enhanced Climate Action in Response to 1.5°C Global Warming’ was commissioned by the ACT Alliance Secretariat under its Global Climate Justice Project, To date, the report has been launched in Bangladesh for the Asia region and San Salvador for the Latin America and Caribbean region.

For media inquiries, please contact Joanna Patouris, ACT’s Climate Change Communications Coordinator joanna.patouris@actalliance.org, +1-647-971-5360.