On 4th April, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its third report titled, Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of climate change.
The most recent report provides instructions that need to occur with quick impact, to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avoid further disastrous impacts of global warming.
The main highlights from the report include phasing out the use of coal and investing in renewable energy. The need to preserve the worlds existing forests but also, to prioritise growing new forests and restoring soil.
Active reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) is vital to reducing global gas emissions through the use of new technologies. The report states however, these technologies are expensive and are still in the early development stages.
A noteworthy aspect of the report is its reference to the role indigenous people and local communities play in ending the climate crisis.
The report states that the climate crisis severely impacts indigenous people and those most vulnerable in society. It reiterates how they “bear the brunt of environmental and climate injustices”. It highlights that the exclusion of indigenous people from in decision-making processes marginalises them and further threatens their livelihoods and the environmental future.
The IPCC report emphasises the importance of local communities and indigenous people’s contributions to climate mitigation, “Indigenous Peoples, private forest owners, local farmers and communities manage a significant share of global forests and agricultural land and play a central role in land-based mitigation options”.
Finally, the report notes that climate governance and policy-making can only be effective and just by building “on engagement with civil society actors, political actors, businesses, youth, labour, media, Indigenous Peoples and local communities.”
The department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, on behalf of South Africa has welcomed the third instalment of the IPCC report, “for South Africa, we take a developmental approach to climate action, and this report provides valuable scientific information to guide our Just Transition,” says the Minister Barbara Creecy.
The South African government has the responsibility to make a swift transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy ensuring that it prioritizes and recognizes the role of indigenous people and local communities in ending the climate crisis.