GENEVA / IPCC LAND REPORT

08-Aug-2019 00:04:31
More than 500 million people today live in areas affected by erosion linked to climate change, the UN warned today, before urging all countries to commit to sustainable land use to help limit greenhouse gas emissions before it is too late. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / IPCC LAND REPORT
TRT: 4:31
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGAUGE: ENGLISH / FRENCH / NATS

DATELINE: 08 AUGUST 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Various shots, exterior World Meteorological Organization (WMO) headquarters
2. Wide shot, conference room, journalists attending press conference, podium with speakers, WMO
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Valérie Masson-Delmotte, Co-Chair of Working Group I:
“Today 500 million people live in areas that experience desertification. People living in already degraded are or desertified areas are increasingly negatively affected by climate change.”
4. Close up, laptop screen showing UN Web TV live streaming the conference. Podium is blurred in background
5. Wide shot, conference room, WMO, journalists at the press conference, sitting.
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Jim Skea, Co-Chair of Working Group III:
“Agricultural practices can help build up carbon in soils, but it could also mean using more bio-energy with or without carbon capture and storage and expanding forests.”
7. Med shot, photographer typing on laptop
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Jim Skea, Co-Chair of Working Group III:
“Twenty-five to 30 per cent of food produced is lost or wasted and reducing food loss and waste can reduce pressure on land, improve food security and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
9. Med shot, female journalist with earphone, looking down
10. SOUNDBITE (EN): Valérie Masson-Delmotte, Co-Chair of Working Group I:
“We humans affect more than 70 per cent of ice-free land. A quarter of this land is degraded. The way we produce food and what we eat contributes to the loss of natural ecosystems and declining biodiversity. When land is degraded it reduces the soil’s ability to take up carbon and this exacerbates climate change.”
11. Various shots, conference room, WMO, journalists listening
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Hans-Otto Pörtner, Co-Chair of Working Group II:
“Adaptation and mitigation have to go together. There is no possibility for anybody to say, ‘Oh, climate change is happening and then we just adapt to it. The capacity to adapt is limited and it certainly depends on the process, it depends on the region and so forth, and there are some regions and some places, especially in the lower latitudes, where vulnerability is extreme and even in those countries when there is an emphasis on adaptation in the in their development strategies, mitigation should play a key role.”
13. Wide shot, panel of speakers presenting IPCC report, WMO
14. SOUNDBITE (English)Debra Roberts, Co-Chair of Working Group II:
“We see increasing pressures of land degradation desertification in places like Africa, Asia and South America and so the sharing of technologies in that regard is important. The importance of Government support was also called out, so it's not only about cooperation between the North and the South but also about Governments supporting local land managers to improve the way they manage land and make that more sustainable. An important element within that discussion was the ability for smallholders to access credit. So, the importance of accessing financial resources to be able to change the way you manage the land, is important.”
15. Med shot, large screen projecting the IPCC Special Report
16. SOUNDBITE (French) Valérie Masson-Delmotte, Co-Chair of Working Group I:
"This is part of a portfolio of possible solutions needed to keep global warming at a low level. But we show how important the area cultivated to produce this biomass may be an additional pressure on land use, and therefore we bring precise elements against the risks associated with potentially cultivated areas to produce more biomass for fuels. "
17. Wide shot, journalists sitting along the table in the conference room, listening to press conference and checking phones
18. SOUNDBITE (English) Jim Skea, Co-Chair of Working Group III:
“One of the problems is how we actually measure and estimate emissions from the farming sector and it's easy for energy; you take the tons of coal and multiply it by a number of whatever. Land is much more complex, and at the moment we don't have inventories that really, truly reflect in many countries the kind of diet that livestock use, the type of production systems that are in place which your question really highlights. And I think the big challenge if we're moving forward in the policy world is to do it on a better evidence base so that farmers are better informed and incentivised about the kind of production systems that they actually use.”
19. Med shot, journalist in profile in the front of a screen projecting the report
STORYLINE
More than 500 million people today live in areas affected by erosion linked to climate change, the UN warned today, before urging all countries to commit to sustainable land use to help limit greenhouse gas emissions before it is too late.

Speaking at the launch of a Special Report into the Climate Change and Land by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Geneva today (08 Aug), experts highlighted how the rise in global temperatures, linked to increasing pressures on fertile soil, risked jeopardizing food security for the planet.

Humans affect more than 70 per cent of ice-free land and a quarter is already degraded, noted Valérie Masson-Delmotte, Co-Chair of one of three Working Groups that contributed to the bumper 1,200-page report.

The highest numbers of people affected are in South and East Asia, the Sahel region including North Africa, in addition to the Middle East, including the Arabian peninsula.

Masson-Delmotte told journalists, “today 500 million people live in areas that experience desertification,” adding that “people living in already degraded or desertified areas are increasingly negatively affected by climate change.”

This soil degradation has a direct impact on the amount of carbon the earth is able to contain, Dr. Masson-Delmotte explained.

Amid recent reports that more than 820 million people are undernourished around the world, Co-chair of another Working Group, Jim Skea, highlighted the fact that up to 30 per cent of food is lost or wasted.

In future, countries should consider all options to tackle loss and waste, thereby reducing the pressure on land and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions, including by growing plant-based, or so-called “bio” fuels, he said.

Skea also noted that limiting global warming to 1.5 or even two degrees (Celsius) will involve removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and land has a critical role to play in carbon dioxide removal.

He said “agricultural practices can help build up carbon in soils, but it could also mean using more bio-energy with or without carbon capture and storage and expanding forests.”

Produced by 107 scientists from more than 50 countries across all regions of the world – with more than half of the contributing authors from developing nations - the IPCC report provides a peer-based review of the latest research on land use today.

According to the IPCC, agriculture, forestry and other land use contribute to around a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, a fact that policy-makers should consider when considering where to invest, to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Debra Roberts, Co-Chair of Working Group II said, “reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors is essential if we want to keep below two degrees Celsius.”

He also cautioned that there were “limits to the scale of energy crops and afforestation that could be used to achieve this goal.”

The need for immediate action in the face of a warming planet was underlined by another Working Group Co-Chair, Hans-Otto Pörtner, who stressed that there was “no possibility for anybody to say, ‘Oh, climate change is happening and we (will) just adapt to it.’ The capacity to adapt is limited.”

Despite the challenges many countries face from climate-change related pressures on land, positive action was needed now, Dr Pörtner maintained, amid estimates that the global population is set to reach around 10 billion by 2050.

He said, “there are some regions and some places, especially in the lower latitudes where vulnerability is extreme,” adding that “but even in those countries, when there is an emphasis on adaptation in their development strategies, mitigation should play a key role.”

Also presenting the Special Report, Debra Roberts, Co-Chair of Working Group II, maintained that its findings were a clear reminder that internationally agreed targets on reducing inequality everywhere under the 2030 Agenda risked being “increasingly out of reach…if we don't act ambitiously on land towards that overall objective of reducing emissions and increasing adaptive capacity.”

The report’s findings confirmed “increasing pressures of land degradation desertification in places like Africa, Asia and South America”, Dr Roberts explained, in an appeal for industrialized economies of the northern hemisphere to help by sharing their technological know-how.

Within countries, meanwhile, Governments should support local land managers “to improve the way they manage land and make that more sustainable”, she added, noting that the ability to access credit was a key policy option. “The importance of accessing financial resources to be able to change the way you manage the land, is important,” Dr Roberts said.

Asked about the potential for greenhouse gas reductions from biofuels, Dr Masson-Delmotte agreed that it “formed part of a portfolio of possible solutions to keep global warming at a low level”.

But she reiterated that this risked adding to the pressures already placed on fertile land.

She said, "this is part of a portfolio of possible solutions needed to keep global warming at a low level. But we show how important the area cultivated to produce this biomass may be an additional pressure on land use, and therefore we bring precise elements against the risks associated with potentially cultivated areas to produce more biomass for fuels. "

Amid a wealth of climate data and research and possible solutions, the expert panel noted that policy-making had been identified as “the key bottleneck” in tackling problems.

To overcome this, countries should consider improving how they assess emissions, suggested Jim Skea, Co-Chair of Working Group III.

He said, “one of the problems is how we actually measure and estimate emissions from the farming sector,” adding that “it's easy for energy; you take the tons of coal and multiply it by a number of whatever. Land is much more complex, and at the moment we don't have inventories that really, truly reflect in many countries the kind of diet that livestock use, the type of production systems that are in place which your question really highlights. And I think the big challenge if we're moving forward in the policy world is to do it on a better evidence base so that farmers are better informed and incentivised about the kind of production systems that they actually use.”

Before Thursday’s report launch, the text had to be assessed and approved by 195 Member States, a process that took longer than expected a day earlier.

In addition to the Special Report on Climate Change and Land, the IPCC plans to release its latest findings on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate next month, ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit on 23 September in New York.

The IPCC was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments concerning climate change, its implications and potential future risks, and to put forward adaptation and mitigation strategies.

Highlighting the need for increased political will to confront our warming planet, Dr Masson-Delmotte, insisted that there was no need for disruptive innovation or technology.
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