EPA statement on the publication of the IPCC Working Group 2 report - Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability

Date released: February 28, 2022

  • This IPCC Report highlights the interlinked threat posed by climate change for human health ecosystems and biodiversity.
  • The roles and benefits of planned adaptation in reducing climate exposure and vulnerability are highlighted in the report, as well as the need to avoid short term adaptation responses which could - in the longer term - amplify climate risks.
  • Globally, many pathways remain to achieve climate resilience and a sustainable future, and the report outlines the enabling factors and decision making needed.
  • The report emphasises the need for Ireland and the EU to achieve its policy objectives of climate neutrality and climate resilience by 2050.
  • The timeframe for action is getting shorter and there are limits to what we can do through adaptation alone.

The EPA welcomes the publication of the Working Group II report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, as part of its 6th Assessment Report.

The report shows the unequivocal evidence of climate change impacts around the world. These impacts are evident in human and natural systems. It recognises that delaying action on adaptation and mitigation will miss a brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.

Laura Burke, EPA Director General, said:

“This report shows us what we have to do in adapting to the current and future impacts of climate change and ensuring that we are resilient to its impacts. Ireland is also facing the impacts of a changing climate as detailed in The Status of Ireland’s Climate report which was published in 2021 by the Environmental Protection Agency, Met Eireann and Marine Institute.

The EPA has, with other funding bodies, supported the development of climate projections so that we can enable planned adaptation. This information is available to support the sustainable and planned adaptation measures that are highlighted as necessary in the IPCC report.”

Commenting on the report Frank McGovern, EPA Chief Climate Scientist, said:

“This report highlights the need for the integration of climate change adaptation into decision making on planning and development across all sectors of the economy and society and across all regions. This can be enabled under the Climate Action Plan 2021 and National Adaptation Framework.”


Further information: Emily Williamson: EPA Media Relations Office, 053 9170770 (24 hours) or media@epa.ie 

Notes to the Editor

The EPA leads in the development and coordination of national climate change research in Ireland. It works with other agencies and research bodies in the development of key climate related observations, including observations of greenhouse gases, aerosols, river flows and freshwater levels.

The EPA has supported work on the 6th Climate Modelling Inter-comparison Project (CMIP-6) used throughout this IPCC report through the work of Dr Paul Nolan in ICHEC.

The EPA hosts the Climate Ireland information portal which provides interactive access to climate information for Ireland.

Other information:

About the IPCC
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide political leaders with periodic scientific assessments concerning climate change.

Thousands of people from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC. For the assessment reports, IPCC scientists volunteer their time to assess the thousands of scientific papers published each year to provide a comprehensive summary of what is known about the drivers of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and how adaptation and mitigation can reduce those risks.

The IPCC has three working groups: Working Group I, dealing with the physical science basis of climate change; Working Group II, dealing with impacts, adaptation and vulnerability; and Working Group III, dealing with the mitigation of climate change. It also has a Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories that develops methodologies for estimating emissions and removals of greenhouse gases.

About the Sixth Assessment Cycle
Comprehensive scientific assessment reports are published every 6 to 7 years; the latest, the Fifth Assessment Report, was completed in 2014 and provided the main scientific input to the Paris Agreement.

The IPCC also publishes special reports on more specific issues between assessment reports.
Global Warming of 1.5°C, an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty was launched in October 2018.

Climate Change and Land, an IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems was launched in August 2019.

The Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate was released in September 2019.

In May 2019 the IPCC released the 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories an update to the methodology used by governments to estimate their greenhouse gas emissions and removals.

The contribution of the three IPCC Working Groups to the Sixth Assessment Report are currently under preparation.

The concluding Synthesis Report is due in 2022.