Statement by John P. Holdren on Approval of the IPCC's Climate-Impacts Report

Today, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) approved its Working Group II report on climate change “Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability”— the second installment of the group’s full Fifth Assessment Report. Upon the report’s approval, John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science & Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy, issued the following statement:

“Climate change is a global threat, touching every region of the world and every sector of the economy.

The IPCC’s new report underscores the need for immediate action in order to avoid the most severe impacts of climate change. It reflects scientists’ increased confidence that the kinds of harm already being experienced as a result of climate change are likely to worsen as the world continues to warm.

The report highlights the widespread and substantial observed impacts of climate change, and its growing adverse effects on livelihoods, ecosystems, economies, and human health. Importantly, it also concludes that effective adaptation measures can help build a more resilient global society in the near term and beyond.

The IPCC’s findings reinforce the importance and urgency of work already underway across the U.S. Government to implement President Obama’s Climate Action Plan—with its multipronged focus on reducing U.S. emissions, boosting climate-change preparedness and resilience, and working across borders to develop global solutions.

Today’s approval follows more than five years of collaborative work by hundreds of physical and social scientists from the United States and around the world to comprehensively assess what is known about the global impacts of and vulnerabilities to climate change. More than a dozen U.S. Government researchers contributed to the report and Federal investments enabled many of the peer-reviewed scientific studies that underpin its findings.

I applaud the many expert contributors to this report, which today stands as the most comprehensive and authoritative synthesis of knowledge about global climate-change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability ever generated.

The Obama Administration is committed to continued participation in IPCC activities and to the rigorous use of scientific information as a foundation for action to address the threats from climate change.

I look forward to this Administration’s ongoing collaboration with international partners to finalize the IPCC’s full Fifth Assessment, set for release later this year.”



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