What near-term climate impacts should worry us most?
Think tank: Chatham House
Author(s): Dr Daniel Quiggin; Ruth Townend; Professor Tim Benton
October 19, 2021
This report from UK think tank Chatham House looks at how to support the most exposed and vulnerable societies to reduce regional and global climate risks.
This research paper – drawing on insights from 200 experts – highlights that, within the current decade, climate hazards are expected to have increasingly serious disruptive impacts. While many hazards may now be inevitable, action on adaptation has the potential to limit the worst expected climate impacts, at regional and global levels. The 10 hazard-impact pathways of greatest near-term concern all relate to regions of Africa and Asia. The impacts of greatest concern – food security and migration and displacement of people – may arise from hazards such as drought, changing rainfall patterns or heatwaves. Impacts will be greatest where communities are already most vulnerable, but will also set off interacting, compounding cascades of secondary impacts that cross borders and continents. That ‘no one is safe until everyone is safe’, often repeated during the COVID-19 pandemic, is just as critical in relation to climate hazards. Between now and 2030, support for adaptation measures to address socio-economic vulnerabilities in the most at-risk regions will be vital. Without such support, it will be impossible to avert systemic climate impact cascades that translate local hazards into impacts felt across the globe.