UN: Climate change threatens security, health and the poor

Rising temperatures will increasingly threaten security, health and food supplies, and exacerbate poverty and damage species and habitats, the report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned.

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William Hague: Governments everywhere have to act

Responding to the IPCC's influential report on the impact of climate change, Foreign Secretary William Hague said that "Governments everywhere have to act."

It is clear from the IPCC's report that a two-degree increase in the world's temperature would be dangerous, and four degrees would be catastrophic.

But that is the likely trajectory, unless there is unprecedented global co-operation to bring down emissions.

No country would be left unaffected. Governments everywhere have to act.

– Foreign Secretary William Hague

Read: Experts call for action to stop global warming damage getting 'out of control'

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Climate change: 'Clean industrial revolution needed'

Solar panels at Rudge Manor Solar Farm near Marlborough, Wiltshire. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

A clean industrial revolution is needed to cut greenhouse gases and spur economic growth, it has been urged in the wake of the publication of a major report on the impacts of climate change.

Mark Kenber, chief executive of the Climate Group, which works with governments, business and organisations to drive action on climate change, said:

"The IPCC report needs to act as a wake-up call. The 'head in the sand' approach is a ticket to failure. Businesses that refuse to adapt are sealing their own fate and putting communities and investors at risk. They're also wantonly squandering the massive opportunities in low carbon growth.

"The only road that leads to both a reduction in carbon emissions and economic growth is one built on a clean industrial revolution.

"Most of the energy and technology solutions needed already exist, but need rapid scaling up today not tomorrow."

More: Climate change 'will threaten global security'

People 'ill-prepared' to cope with risk of climate change

A swirling Eastern Pacific Ocean storm system headed for California is seen in an image from NOAA's GOES-West satellite. Credit: Reuters

Experts have warned that in many cases, people are ill prepared to cope with the risks of a changing climate.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report says the world has seen changes in recent decades to water resources as a result of melting glaciers and differences in rainfall, and reductions in wheat and maize yields.

There has been a decrease in the number of people dying from the cold but an increase in heat-related deaths in some areas, such as England and Wales, the report suggested.

Species including fish stocks are shifting their ranges, coral reefs are being damaged and wildfires are becoming more frequent.

The report on the impacts of climate change said rising temperatures are expected to lead to increased risk of flooding, more droughts and heatwaves, drive species extinct and cause forests to die in many regions of the world.

More: Climate Change impact 'being felt'

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Climate Change impact 'being felt'

Smoke rises from chimneys of a steel plant next to a viaduct on a hazy day in Tangshan, Hebei province, China. Credit: Reuters

Climate change is already having an impact across the world in areas ranging from human health to agriculture and wildlife, a major international report has found.

Rising temperatures will increasingly threaten security, health and food supplies, and exacerbate poverty and damage species and habitats, the report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned.

The world is in "an era of man-made climate change" and has already seen impacts of global warming on every continent and across the oceans.

Read: Davey: Britain must spearhead the climate change fight

Davey declares Britain must lead climate change fight

On the eve of a ground-breaking UN report into the impacts of climate change, Energy Secretary Ed Davey has declared Britain must spearhead the worldwide battle against global warming.

Climate change is "hugely threatening our way of life, in the UK, Europe and the world," Mr Davey told The Observer.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey made the declaration ahead of the UN climate change report's release. Credit: ITV News

"Not to lead is deeply irresponsible. If you don't lead, you will not bring others with you," the Lib Dem MP said.

His comments come as the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change prepares to release a report that is expected to warn of catastrophic consequences to food supplies, livelihoods, health and security across the world if climate change remains unchecked.

Ex-Archbishop: Western lifestyles 'cause climate change'

The former Archbishop of Canterbury has attacked Western lifestyles for causing climate change that is "pushing the environment towards crisis".

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, Dr Rowan Williams said: "Rich, industrialised countries, including our own, have unquestionably contributed most to atmospheric pollution.

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams Credit: PA

"Both our present lifestyle and the industrial history of how we created such possibilities for ourselves have to bear the responsibility for pushing the environment in which we live towards crisis.”

On Monday, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is due to publish its latest study on the consequences of the predicted rise in global temperatures.