A a woman cleaning a solar energy panel in Mauritania

A a woman cleaning a solar energy panel in Mauritania. Raphael Pouget / Climate Visuals Countdown

Geneva, 20 March 2023:- Ahead of today’s publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Synthesis Report (SYR), a global coalition of health professionals is calling on governments to fund loss and damage response, invest in and strengthen adaptation, and to slash greenhouse gas emissions by phasing out the use of fossil fuels.

The IPCC Synthesis Report (SYR) comes as the last of IPCC’s Sixth Assessment (AR6) cycle of publications, and aims to “synthesise and integrate materials contained within the Assessment Reports and Special Reports” [1].

“Taken together, IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Reports paint a clear picture of the urgency and seriousness with which every government must pursue all three pillars of climate action: responding to the losses and damage to people’s health and their homes, access to water and sanitation, clinics and hospitals, and other essentials for health, from the climate impacts we are seeing and will continue to see; the critical need to prepare communities around the world with adaptation measures to better manage coming climate impacts; and first and foremost, the urgent need to mitigate climate change by making strong commitments this year to a rapid and just phase out all fossil fuels”, said Dr Jeni Miller, Executive Director of the Global Climate and Health Alliance.

“Because governments have delayed climate action for so long, policies currently in place mean we are headed towards 2.7C of warming – far in excess of the 1.5C target of the Paris Agreement [2]. Left unchecked, it will be impossible to adapt quickly or extensively enough to outrun the climate tipping points and impacts expected from such uncontrolled warming.”

“The IPCC makes clear that governments must make stronger commitments this year that accelerate mitigation,” added Miller. “Fossil fuels have got to go.”

“In addition, because governments have failed to prevent the harms to human health and wellbeing that are already occurring, the level of care and preparation must be stepped up, with significant investments in adaptation, resilience, and loss and damage.”

“Continued failure to mitigate against climate change is quickly taking us toward a planet that could become uninhabitable. But bold action by governments this year can still avert catastrophic climate change, prevent untold human suffering, and deliver a healthier and more equitable future”, concluded Miller.

Key points from the previous AR6 reports [3]:

  • The IPCC’s The Physical Science Basis “report found that without major cuts to greenhouse gas emissions throughout the current decade the world will see catastrophic levels of global warming.”
  • Impacts & adaptation report “Last year’s IPCC report, The Physical Science Basis clearly confirmed that with ‘rapid and substantial reductions’ we can still limit global warming. Today’s impact report spells out the consequences if we fail to make these changes – and they are severe.” 
  • Mitigation report “This … IPCC report could not be more explicit: leaders of all nations must rapidly phase out fossil fuels and transition to clean, renewable energy.” 

Dave Walsh, Communications Advisor, Global Climate and Health Alliance, +34 691 826 764 (Europe) – [email protected] is checked regularly.


[1] The AR6 SYR is based on the content of the three Working Groups Assessment Reports: WGI – The Physical Science Basis, WGII – Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, WGIII – Mitigation of Climate Change, and the three Special Reports: Global Warming of 1.5°C, Climate Change and Land, The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate

IPCC AR6 Synthesis Report (SYR)

According to IPCC procedures the Synthesis Report (SYR) should “synthesise and integrate materials contained within the Assessment Reports and Special Reports” and “should be written in a non-technical style suitable for policymakers and address a broad range of policy-relevant but policy-neutral questions approved by the Panel”.

Revised schedule of the IPCC Synthesis Report

[2] Climate Action Tracker: Temperatures

[3] GCHA press release: IPCC Climate Report: National Leaders Must Act on Climate Crisis to Ensure Human Health and Safety, Aug 12, 2021 – AR6 Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. The Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

GCHA press release: IPCC Impacts Report: National Leaders Must Act on Climate Crisis to Ensure Human Health and Safety, Feb 28, 2022

IPCC Mitigation Climate Report: Health and Equity Must Be Central to Climate Policy, Apr 5, 2022

About GCHA

The Global Climate and Health Alliance is the leading global convenor of health professional and health civil society organizations addressing climate change. We are a consortium of health organizations from around the world united by a shared vision of an equitable, sustainable future, in which the health impacts of climate change are minimized, and the health co-benefits of climate change mitigation are maximised.

Find out more: https://climateandhealthalliance.org/about/