• The U.N. have published a new report on climate change.
  • The report delivered major warnings on the effect of human activity on the planet.
  • The report is intended to help shape environmental policies across the world.
  • From U.S. President Joe Biden to U.N Secretary General Antonio Guterres, here are some of the reactions from major figures across the world.

The United Nations on Monday published a report that delivered dramatic warnings about the effect of human-induced climate change on the planet – and how much worse it could get. read more

Here are some reactions:

Borge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum:

"The forest fires and floods of recent weeks delivered a clear language. And so does the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report: we need to cut the carbon in our atmosphere now."

Borge Brende IPCC Report
Image: World Economic Forum

U.N Secretary General Antonio Guterres:

"Today’s IPCC Working Group 1 Report is a 'Code Red' for humanity ... This report must sound a death knell for coal and fossil fuels, before they destroy our planet."

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson:

"We know what must be done to limit global warming – consign coal to history and shift to clean energy sources, protect nature and provide climate finance for countries on the frontline."

U.S. President Joe Biden:

"We can’t wait to tackle the climate crisis. The signs are unmistakable. The science is undeniable. And the cost of inaction keeps mounting."

Italy Foreign Affairs Minister Luigi Di Maio:

"This is an issue that affects all of us and every aspect of our lives. An effective response must be given, without wasting time."

U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry:

"The impacts of the climate crisis, from extreme heat to wildfires to intense rainfall and flooding, will only continue to intensify unless we choose another course for ourselves and generations to come."

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm:

"The planet is on fire, and our hair should be on fire about this! We need to move faster to deploy, deploy, deploy clean energy and make our communities more resilient."

European Commission Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans:

"It’s not too late to stem the tide and prevent runaway climate change, but only if we act decisively now and all act together."

Diann Black-Layne, Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda, Lead Climate Negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States:

"If we keep warming to 1.5C, we are still facing half a metre of sea level rise. But if we stop warming from reaching 2C, we can avoid a long-term 3 metres of sea level rise. That is our very future, right there."

Mohamed Nasheed, Ambassador for the Climate Vulnerable Forum of 48 countries and former Maldives President:

"We are paying with our lives for the carbon someone else emitted. We will take measures soon to begin to address this injustice, which we cannot merely accept."

Paulo Artaxo, an IPCC Lead Author and Environmental Physicist at the University of Sao Paulo:

"We are damaging the climate in such a way for the next generations that this will certainly make the socioeconomic difficulties in the future much, much worse than in our generation ...

"My personal opinion is that it will be impossible to limit the increase in temperature to 1.5 degrees."

Helene Hewitt, a coordinating IPCC Lead Author and Ocean Modelling Group Leader at the UK Met Office's Hadley Centre:

"We project the Arctic to be practically sea ice free in September at least once before 2050 under all the considered scenarios, with more frequent occurrences for greater warming levels."

Faith Birol, Executive Director, International Energy Agency:

"Today's IPCC report shows the clock is ticking as we witness the devastating impacts of climate change. But as IEA's Net Zero 2050 scenario shows, we have solutions to cut emissions & limit rises in temperature. It is imperative that countries seize the moment at COP26"

Helen Mountford, Vice President of Climate and Economics, World Resources Institute:

"If this IPCC report doesn’t shock you into action, it should. The report paints a very sobering picture of the unforgiving, unimaginable world we have in store if our addiction to burning fossil fuels and destroying forests continues."

Kaisa Kosonen, Senior Political Adviser of Climate and Energy, Greenpeace:

"The IPCC has provided new, powerful means for everyone everywhere to hold the fossil fuel industry and governments directly responsible for the climate emergency."

Li Shuo, Senior Climate Campaigner, Greenpeace East Asia:

"There is no reason to shy away from urgent action. Stopping the construction of China's coal-fired power plants will greatly contribute to global climate momentum. Doing so is economically sound and is ultimately for China’s self-interest."

Teresa Anerson, Climate Policy Coordinator at Actionaid International:

"Too many 'net zero' climate plans are being used to 'greenwash' pollution and business-as-usual."

What’s the World Economic Forum doing about climate change?

Climate change poses an urgent threat demanding decisive action. Communities around the world are already experiencing increased climate impacts, from droughts to floods to rising seas. The World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report continues to rank these environmental threats at the top of the list.

To limit global temperature rise to well below 2°C and as close as possible to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, it is essential that businesses, policy-makers, and civil society advance comprehensive near- and long-term climate actions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The World Economic Forum's Climate Initiative supports the scaling and acceleration of global climate action through public and private-sector collaboration. The Initiative works across several workstreams to develop and implement inclusive and ambitious solutions.

This includes the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, a global network of business leaders from various industries developing cost-effective solutions to transitioning to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. CEOs use their position and influence with policy-makers and corporate partners to accelerate the transition and realize the economic benefits of delivering a safer climate.

Contact us to get involved.

Wai-Shin Chan, Global Head of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) research at HSBC Bank:

"Investors must use their influence to push decision makers to make the bold emission reductions required to limit the most severe consequences of climate change."

Reporting by Kate Abnett, Nina Chestney, Jake Spring and Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Lisa Shumaker.