Sierra Club Statement On New IPCC WG II Report


WASHINGTON, DC -- Today, the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report 6 Working Group 2 (WG II) released its new report spelling out the costs and consequences of the climate crisis, including public health, displacement, food and water insecurity, as well as the potential and limits in adapting to the climate crisis and keeping global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The report outlines what frontline communities, activists, and the climate justice movement have known for years: climate change isn’t a future threat, it’s already leaving devastation in its wake, and we must prioritize the ability of frontline communities to adapt to the ongoing crisis. Importantly, the report starkly highlights that the effects of the climate crisis are not being felt evenly across the US or the world. The countries and communities that have contributed the least to creating the problem are the ones feeling the harshest effects of the climate crisis. Notably, the report specifically details that the continent of Africa “has contributed among the least to greenhouse gas emissions”  yet is experiencing widespread loss and damage to its biodiversity, water resources, agriculture, and economy. 

Currently, the US Congress continues to debate bold legislation that would invest significantly in climate, jobs, and justice, directly addressing the climate effects in the US as well as our outsized contribution to global climate pollution. The report details that the risks to the US and other North American countries have become even more severe and will continue to worsen, yet “addressing these risks have been made more urgent by delays due to misinformation about climate science that has sowed uncertainty, and impeded recognition of risk.”

In response, Cherelle Blazer, the Senior Director of the Sierra Club’s International Climate and Policy Campaign, issued the following statement:

“Today’s report is the latest in a long list of studies detailing there is no time to waste in tackling the climate crisis. The destruction we’re already experiencing with unprecedented droughts, historic floods, and superstorms is our new reality. We can no longer undo the damage we’ve already caused, but we still have the opportunity to stop an even worse climate catastrophe – leaders must act now. 

“Each day that passes without Congress passing legislation investing in climate, jobs, and justice is another day of needless stress and suffering for millions of people in the US and abroad struggling with unabated air and water pollution, and an onslaught of climate-fueled storms, wildfires, and droughts. 

“The world has the tools and the scientific evidence we need to halt climate catastrophe, but US leaders and governments of the world's richest and most polluting countries must summon the political will to do what is required. The report is clear, there are limits to adaptation, and a stark pivot away from the fossil fuel economy to clean, renewable energy is required. Given the enormity of the stakes for our communities, failure is quite simply not an option.”


About the IPCC and Working Groups: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a research body convened by the United Nations to understand climate change. The IPCC releases reports written by different working groups (WG) that explore specific climate dimensions: WG I focuses on the physical science of climate change, WG II focuses on impacts and vulnerabilities as they relate to adaptation, and WG III focuses on how to address climate change, specifically to reduce risks through mitigation.

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit