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Reaction to UN Climate Change Report

Press Release

​A report out on Monday from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will paint a picture of gloom – predicting that natural disasters, along with shortages of food and clean water will force millions of people to migrate increasing the risk of wars.

The Overseas Development Institute – the UK’s leading think tank on development – has experts available to talk about measures that can be taken to hold back disastrous effects of climate change. 

Dr Tom Mitchell, Overseas Development Institute head of programme for climate and environment, and a co-ordinating lead author on previous IPCC panel reports is available for interview to talk about this, as well as the ways that communities are already protecting themselves from disasters in the face of climate change, as well as the process of producing the IPCC reports

He said: “This most recent IPCC report is the most robust scientific exercise ever undertaken.

“It has taken seven years to look at thousands of papers published around the world.

“Other experts and governments send in their comments on the draft and authors reply to every single comment to outline how they have been addressed. It is laborious and time consuming but is designed to produce results of exceptional crispness and confidence.”

He can also describe measures like: 

  • Natural barriers like mangrove forests and coral reefs need to be restored to protect against increased cyclones and storm surges, potentially made worse by rising sea levels.
  • In Vietnam and Thailand local people are re-planting and managing coastal mangrove trees that had been chopped down for fuel and building materials.
  • In Belize local fishers are helping to protect one of the world’s longest coral reefs after overfishing allowed a build-up of damaging algae.

Food/Agriculture: Dr Natasha Grist, Overseas Development Institute research fellow in climate smart agriculture, is available for interview to talk about ways of securing food production in the face of climate change.

  • In Mexico family farming feeds more than 112 million people. This type of agriculture can generate food, income, and employment.
  • Around the world governments are pushing climate smart agriculture – where scientific breakthroughs are combined with local knowledge to achieve the best results. In the Sahel region of Africa more than five million hectares of degraded land has been restored through farmer-managed natural regeneration.

Overseas Development Institute executive director Kevin Watkins is also available for interview.