RAE Statement on Latest IPCC Report

Restore America's Estuaries

February 28, 2022

The new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Working Group II Report, Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation & Vulnerability, shines more light on current and expected impacts of climate change on human and natural systems. While the authoritative and comprehensive report paints a grim picture of climate impacts, Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE) takes note of growing evidence base that nature-based solutions, including green infrastructure such as living shorelines, can protect our coasts, and coastal communities against rising seas, floods, and more severe and regular storms. We were also encouraged to see the latest report incorporate indigenous knowledge, an important equity and climate justice consideration. 

However, the science has become ever clear that we are nearing the limitations of adaptation alone in the fight against climate change; efforts must be coupled with rapid emissions reductions to avoid the worst possible impacts. Low lying coastal communities, many of which have been historically marginalized, are already experiencing the real impacts of climate change and will continue to become more vulnerable as global temperatures rise. As such, we must continue to promote equitable distribution of resources to protect lives and livelihoods. Real danger is imminent if we continue at this rate of temperature rise. 

“With more than 40% of Americans living in and more than 47% of our country’s GDP coming from estuary regions, we stand to lose significant human and economic resources if the worst of what’s predicted in this report is realized” said RAE President and CEO, Daniel Hayden. “We are already seeing fishing seasons cut short, sunny day flooding turning away tourists, and the costs of damage from storms rise exponentially year after year. We can turn the tide, though, if we quickly curb global emissions and prioritize climate resilience for coastal communities.”


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