The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN's body for assessing the science related to climate change, has recently published a comprehensive report documenting the extent of global warming. The paper provides new time estimates for crossing the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold, urging immediate and large-scale action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Following the publication of the report, UK Architects Declare has issued a statement inviting decision makers to a dialogue on how to collectively address the climate crisis while at the same time calling for the design professionals to re-evaluate their practice to support meaningful change.
Since the last IPCC report of 2018, the world has seen an increase in extreme weather events like severe flooding, droughts, and prolonged heatwaves. Based on more than 14000 scientific papers, the study is the most up-to-date assessment of climate change. The research stresses that changes already set in motion, like sea-level rise, are irreversible and that it will still take 20 to 30 years for temperatures to stabilize even with sustained reductions in carbon emissions. At the same time, the study shows that global temperature is expected to reach or even exceed the 1.5 degrees threshold over the next 20 years. Urban areas will experience amplified heatwaves, flooding due to more intense rainfalls and sea-level rise in coastal areas.
The paper is the first instalment of the IPCC's Sixth Assessment Report and will be followed in 2022 by an evaluation of the impact of climate change and a review of the potential solutions. The report was due this past April; however, the pandemic delayed the research's publication. The highlighted data provides a new framework for risk assessment and decision-making, showcasing how human action can still determine the course of climate. Regional information on the impact of climate change can be explored in the Interactive Atlas developed by the IPCC, a new tool for visualizing projected climate futures.
Climate change is already affecting every region on Earth in multiple ways. The changes we experience will increase with additional warming […]. Stabilizing the climate will require substantial, rapid, and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and reaching net-zero CO2 emissions - IPCC Working Group I Co-Chair Panmao Zhai.
In response to the IPCC report, UK Architects Declare has once again stated its commitment to expand the architecture profession's role in mitigating climate change, inviting practitioners from all across the AEC industry to commit to positive action regarding the environmental crisis. "Architects Declare was founded after the 2018 IPCC special report to change the mindset of built environment practise, regulation and policy. Today's report once again hammers home the need to transition rapidly to a zero-carbon world to avoid the worst consequences of climate breakdown", says Steve Tompkins, co-founder of Architects Declare, adding that "what we need now is political support and the collective courage to act".