Press release

IDS response to IPCC report on adaptation and vulnerability

Published on 28 February 2022

In response to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II report ‘Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptations and Vulnerability’, Shilpi Srivastava, Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, commented:

Today’s IPCC report lays clear the devastating impacts that climate change is already having on billions of people suffering the worst of more ‘frequent and intense extreme events’. Inherent within the report is the fact that climate change is a stress multiplier. The worst impacts – extreme weather events, rising sea levels and declining resources are compounding existing poverty, vulnerabilities, and inequity. It is these root causes of vulnerability, from poverty, sanitation, education, gender violence or food and health insecurity, that urgently need to be addressed in order to increase people’s capacity to adapt.

“For example, IDS research in western India shows that the place-based effects of climate change can be devastating as they intersect with structural systems of social and political inequity. In India’s dryland Kutch, women and young girls have to walk for several kilometres just to fetch water because of rapid salinity ingress, which is turning their freshwater wells saline. This impacts their health as well as educational outcomes of young girls who often drop out of school to help with household chores.

“Governments need to do more to support communities on the frontline. However, they must be aware that technical fixes and ‘green solutions’ often cause further harm if people are excluded from decision-making about the climate impacts they face. Instead, we must draw upon local and indigenous knowledge and strengthen marginalised people’s capacity to manage and respond to climate uncertainties.

“We need to hold richer countries accountable to support programmes that are locally led, to recognise loss and damage and bring meaningful and positive change in the lives of those most affected by climate change.”

 

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