South Asian Leaders and Civil Society Must to Act Now and Together

[South Asia] – March 31, 2014 – South Asia has been warned. The launch of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of Working Group (WG) II by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, (IPCC) entitled Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability provided impacts of climate change to date, the future risks from a changing climate and the opportunities for effective action to reduce risks. The report released today, is the second instalment of the AR5.

“This report provides strongest evidence to date that South Asian countries will be particularly vulnerable to climate related extremes that will result in the alteration of ecosystems, disruption of food production and water supply, damage to infrastructure and settlements, morbidity and mortality, and consequences for mental health and human wellbeing. The current level of adaptation funding will have to be increased to be orders of magnitude a lot greater than current investment levels,” said IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability Lead Author Dr Achala C. Abeysinghe. She is also a Senior Researcher, Climate Change Group and Governance Team Leader, Global Climate Change at the International Institute for Environment and Development.

“No one will be untouched by climate change. For the South Asian region in particular, we not only consist of developing countries but are most susceptible to the extremes of climate change given the nature of our geographical positioning. Governments and civil society agents must act now and together in order to put forth the best practices of climate change adaptation and mitigation,” said Climate Action Network South Asia Director Sanjay Vashist.

The region specific report highlights impending crises that will be evident in the sectors agriculture and food security; human settlements, industry and infrastructure; human health, security, livelihoods and poverty; ecosystems and water security in South Asia.

 “The Fifth Assessment Report has sounded the alarm bells of climate change impacts even louder than previous reports. However, the report also highlights, for the first time, that countries are beginning to take actions on adaptation and that Bangladesh is a pioneer in this respect,” said Lead Author and Co-ordinating Lead Author in WG II Dr Saleemul Huq. A Bangladeshi scientist, Dr Huq is a Senior Fellow, Climate Change Group at the International Institute for Environment and Development.

“This experience forms a starting point for bolder, more ambitious adaptations that will be important as climate and society continue to change. Part of the reason adaptation is so important is that the world faces a host of risks from climate change already baked into the climate system, due to past emissions and existing infrastructure,” said IPCC Working Group II Co -Chair Vicente Barros.

The first instalment, Working Group I (WGI) that focused on the physical science basis of the climate system and climate change took place on September 23-26, 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden. The second instalment of AR5, the WGII launched its Summary for Policymakers today in Yokohama following the sessions held from March 25. WGIII is to take place on April 7-11, 2014 in Berlin, Germany and focus on addressing mitigation options.  The SPM is scheduled to launch on April 13, 2014. The final instalment will be a Synthesis Report that would be a culmination of the three Working Groups. The report is said to be released between October 27-31, 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

CANSA is a coalition of 116 civil society organisations from seven countries of South Asia, demanding that all countries ratify the second commitment period of Kyoto protocol by 2015. CANSA is on a vision to strive actively towards the protection of the global climate in a manner that promotes equity and social justice between peoples, sustainable development of all communities, and protection of the global environment.

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For further information contact Vositha Wijenayake on vositha@cansouthasia.net

Download CANSA Press Release Mar2014 - AR5 (General)

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