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STATEMENT: ODI response to the IPCC climate change report

Written by Alex Thier

Press Release

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has today warned of the serious consequences of global temperatures rising above the 1.5 degrees C target set by the Paris climate agreement.

Alex Thier, executive director of the Overseas Development Institute, said: ‘This is not just another in a long line of reports, it is a clarion call. This is the most conclusive evidence we will get that we need to act more quickly and more deeply to transform the practices that are most responsible for global warming. And we must invest more to support those affected by the already terrifying impacts of climate change.

‘First, we must speed up the transformation of the global energy system that is currently choking the planet. Our latest research shows that even very wealthy G7 governments are continuing to provide $100 billion each year to prop up fossil fuel production. The global figure is several times higher. Every dollar of subsidy for dirty energy keeps it going longer, costs us more, and robs investment from clean energy.

‘Second, world population is growing and getting healthier and wealthier – which means more consumption of food, water, and other natural resources. We must move to more sustainably feeding and supporting nine billion people by 2050 in a way that uses less water, fewer chemicals, less transportation and waste.

‘Third, we must invest in the resilience to survive the changes that are already upon us. Millions are already displaced each year due to extreme weather including intensifying storms, flooding, drought, and heat – and this is likely to grow exponentially in the coming years. We need to make sure people, food and energy systems, transport and communications infrastructure are able to withstand these changes to avoid suffering on a scale we’ve never seen before in modern times.’


For more information or to arrange an interview with Alex Thier or other ODI experts please contact James Rush on [email protected] or +44 (0)7808 791265