IPCC Sixth Assessment Report – ‘Code red for humanity’

On August 9th, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its Sixth Assessment Report - Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. As a landmark publication establishing the most up-to-date scientific knowledge on climate change, the report is considered as one of the most important documents to inform policymakers.

Since the last assessment in 2013, major advances in climate science allowed to establish that human influence on global warming is “unequivocal”. The different scenarios based on temperature increase have been updated, showing that the +1,5°C threshold is very much likely to be exceeded by 2030 – a decade earlier than expected.

The consequences are now scientifically well documented: climate extremes and weather-related hazards intensify and are becoming more and more frequent. They have dire impacts on humanitarian needs and challenge NGOs in their response. In 2019, already 34 million people globally were acutely food insecure due to climate extremes and weather-related hazards triggered some 24.9 million displacements in 140 countries (OCHA, feb.2021). In 2020, 12 of the 20 countries most vulnerable to climate change had an inter-agency humanitarian appeal.

As UN Secretary-General António Guterres said, this is indeed “a code red for humanity”. The climate crisis is a humanitarian crisis, and NGOs are among the major actors of the response. They need greater investment in humanitarian aid, Disaster Risk Reduction, resilience, and community preparedness.

If you would like to know more about how VOICE members are working on the effects of the climate crisis on humanitarian action, you can read our VOICE out loud 30th edition.


See below some of VOICE members reaction to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report:

Action Aid: “Looking ahead to COP26, rich countries that have done the most to cause the climate crisis must face up to their dual responsibility. They need to provide real support to poor countries hit by escalating climate impacts, and they need to get serious about urgent climate action.” - Teresa Anderson, climate policy coordinator

CARE: ‘Every fraction of a degree matters to those already on the frontlines’ - Chikondi Chabvuta, Southern Africa Advocacy Lead

Concern: “Concern Worldwide is calling for significantly more action and commitments ahead of this autumn’s COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow to ensure that people living in extreme poverty can adapt to worsening droughts, floods and rising sea levels.”

Oxfam: “This report is yet more unimpeachable proof that climate change is happening now, and that global warming is already one of the most harmful drivers of worsening hunger and starvation, migration, poverty and inequality all over the world.” - Oxfam Climate Policy Lead Nafkote Dabi.

Plan International: ““Today’s IPCC report highlights the stark reality of the climate emergency, but it comes as no surprise. We are already witnessing the impacts of extreme weather events, particularly in communities with the fewest resources to cope.” - George Ouma, Policy, Advocacy and Research advisor

Save the Children: ‘Report is a harrowing warning, but children already suffer devastating impacts of climate change’ - Yolande Wright, Global Director Child Poverty, Climate and Urban

Tearfund: “It's time for politicians to stop dragging their feet and do what needs to be done to secure a safer world for us all. Anything less is accepting a death sentence for people at the frontline of this crisis.” - Dr Ruth Valerio, Director of Advocacy