An urgent call to tackle climate change

The IPCC released its new report on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability

The report was drafted by Working Group II. Experts Christian Huggel (University of Zurich), Carolina Adler (MRI), and Rupa Mukerji (Helvetas) took part in the report, and brought to it their experience of several initiatives in the Andes supported by SDC’s Global Programme on Climate Change and Environment.

The IPCC Working Group II Summary, Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, was released on 28 February. It demonstrates that climate change poses an increasingly serious threat to the well-being of people and the planet, and warns that action taken now will determine how people adapt and how nature responds to increasing climate risks.

This second report highlights the interdependence between climate, biodiversity and people. Unlike previous reports, it takes a multidisciplinary view that integrates the natural, social and economic sciences, stressing the urgent need for immediate and more ambitious action to address climate change and the risks it poses.

The impact on Latin America and the Caribbean

The IPCC report warns of the irreversible impacts of the climate crisis in the coming years in the region. The experts also stressed the urgency of taking measures and highlighted the importance of the experience gained in the Andes with the support of the SDC to understand the implications of the impact on such vulnerable regions for defining possible adaptation measures.

The report warns of the increase in heat-related illnesses and threats to food security, aggravated by social and economic factors such as the high levels of poverty and inequality in the region.

It also highlights the increase in extreme weather events, which are already affecting Latin America and will intensify in the coming years. The experts point out that temperatures and sea levels will rise, coastal erosion will increase and climate phenomena (droughts, rains and landslides) will intensify, and will have repercussions on the availability of water for consumption, impacting human health and the quality of life.

The report highlights the vulnerability of the Amazon to climate change and its associated effects such as deforestation, forest fires and increased drought.  This region is considered one of the world’s largest reservoirs of biodiversity and carbon, and climate change will lead to increased tree mortality and decreased forest productivity.

The experts point out in addition the retreat of glaciers in the Andes (from the 1980s to the present day, between 30 and 50 per cent of the glacier area), and that the southern Andes suffer the highest loss of glacier mass in the world, leading to rising sea levels. Glacier retreat, temperature increase and rainfall variability have affected ecosystems, water resources and the livelihoods of the communities living in these regions and surrounding areas.

Through SDC’s Global Climate Change and Environment Programme, Swiss Cooperation is promoting a series of projects and programmes in the region to contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation. It is using the legacy of each of these initiatives, sharing the experiences and lessons learned and scaling them up in the region, in line with its commitment to the United Nations 2030 Agenda of leaving no one behind.

We invite you to visit the SDC website to learn more about the programmes and projects that SDC has supported through the Embassy of Switzerland in Peru and is promoting in the region: www.cooperacionsuiza.pe/cosude

Useful links:
Proyecto Glaciares+
Proyecto PACC Perú
Programa Bosques Andinos
Proyecto Regional Andes Resilientes al Cambio Climático

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La Agencia Suiza para el Desarrollo y la Cooperación (COSUDE) es la entidad encargada de la cooperación internacional dentro del Departamento Federal de Asuntos Exteriores (DFAE). Con otras oficinas de la Confederación, la COSUDE es responsable de la coordinación general de la cooperación para el desarrollo y de la cooperación con los Países del Este, así como de los programas de ayuda humanitaria suizos.