IPCC report lays bare scale of climate injustice

28 February 2022

The report released today by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows how those who have contributed least to the climate emergency will be most affected by its consequences.

Responding to the new IPCC report on climate impacts, Jessica Cooke, Plan International’s Climate Change Policy and Advocacy Advisor, said:

“Today’s IPCC report lays bare the scale of climate injustice, and how those who have contributed least to the climate emergency will be most affected by its consequences, some of which are now irreversible. 

“Whether environmental shocks such as drought and flooding, or knock-on economic turbulence, gender inequality means that girls and women are bearing the impact of the of the climate crisis. Already, we know that girls in rural communities in Zambia and Zimbabwe are struggling to get to school because of changing weather patterns, while in Somalia, more girls are being married at a young age as the region’s worst drought in three decades places millions at risk of life-threatening hunger. The report also highlights the mental health challenges that are increasing due to global warming, particularly for children and young people.

Girls and women disproportionately affected by climate change

“Yet adaptation measures – which are chronically underfunded – do not go far enough in addressing the way that girls and women are disproportionately affected by climate change. At the same time, today’s report highlights that global warming is increasing the amount of loss and damage that we can no longer adapt to, and which is currently not being addressed.

“Countries bearing the worst consequences of climate change need urgent support, including financial support, to take bold, inclusive action to adapt in a way that supports girls and women and prioritises gender equality. This means that the world’s highest emitting countries must step up climate financing for locally-led adaptation that also targets gender inequality, at the same time as urgently reducing emissions. There must also be increased investment in education that supports young people with the knowledge and skills to adapt to climate impacts and support their wellbeing.

“Ahead of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, we call on world leaders to urgently increase ambitions and meaningfully engage young people in climate policy decisions. As the IPCC report states, there is a brief and fast-closing window of opportunity to secure a stable climate and sustainable future for children and future generations, who have contributed the least to the crisis but will be the ones living with its consequences.”