CLIMATE change is causing an “atlas of human suffering” with some impacts of global warming already irreversible, a damning report from the United Nations has said.

Rising temperatures are causing widespread damage to people and the planet which is being “clobbered by climate change” and having a cataclysmic impact on livelihoods, homes and natural habitats, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said as it launched it’s latest report.

Some of the most severe effects are still to come, with nature and humans being pushed to their limits to adapt to rising temperatures, they added.

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The UN warned any further delays to curb greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to inevitable climate change will mean humanity will miss a “brief and rapidly closing window” to secure a sustainable and livable future.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres delivered a stark notice to world leaders at a press conference to launch the report on Monday, adding that he had seen many scientific reports in his time “but nothing like this”.

He said: “Today’s IPCC report is an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership.

“With fact upon fact, this report reveals our people and the planet are getting clobbered by climate change.

The National:

Guterres delivered a stark warning as the UN released the report

“Nearly half of humanity is living in the danger zone now. Many ecosystems are at the point of no return now. Unchecked carbon pollution is forcing the world's most vulnerable on a frogmarch to destruction now.

"The facts are undeniable. This abdication of leadership is criminal.

“The world's biggest polluters are guilty of arson on our only hope.”

Guterres added that to meet the goal of limiting global temperatures to 1.5C - the purpose of COP26 and the Glasgow agreement signed in November last year - world emissions will have to be cut by 45% by 2030.

However, he also explained that current commitments will see emissions increase by 14% over the current decade.

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He added: “That spells catastrophe. It will destroy any chance of keeping 1.5 alive.”

Guterres reiterated the UN’s warning against fossil fuel production, adding that transitioning to renewable energy is the only way to ensure energy security, universal access and green jobs.

The secretary general also called for further funding for adaptation to the effects of climate change, and pursued with “equal force and urgency” to mitigation.

The IPCC report found that “investments in adaptation work”, Guterres said, adding: “Delay means death”.

The National:

Impacts of climate change, such as wildfires above, are causing devastation around the globe

He added: “I know people everywhere are anxious and angry. I am too. Now is the time to turn rage into action. Every fraction of the degree matters, every voice can make a difference, and every second counts.”

During COP26, Scotland was the first country to provide cash to mitigate climate change loss and damage. The £2m fund sparked other investment funds to come forward and promise support, but now the UN is calling for this to be made a priority.

Jamie Livingstone, Head of Oxfam Scotland, said that while Scotland’s emissions continue to fall, the last three annual reduction targets have been missed.

He said: “Unless Scotland achieves more rapid emission cuts, the Scottish Government’s international leadership will be completely undermined: it’d be like throwing a brick through someone’s window and then offering to replace the glass.

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“This IPCC report again highlights the life and death necessity of faster action. “As the ongoing president of COP26, the UK Government must also ensure that the goal to double adaptation finance agreed during the talks is realised so that vulnerable countries can adapt to the changes they are facing.

"It must also become a champion of finance to address irreversible loss and damage”.

It comes as climate campaigners said that the report makes “deeply alarming reading” as the impact of rising temperatures is more widespread and happening quicker than predicted.

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Flooding is also another result of climate change, seen here on the A760 near Lochwinnoch last year

Mary Church, from Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: "The gross injustice of the situation is that the climate crisis is hitting the poorest and most vulnerable people the hardest even though they didn’t create it.

"Following all the backslapping at COP26 this report is a stark reminder of the reality of the climate crisis and must serve as a wake up call to governments relying on vague 2050 net zero goals, pathways that overshoot 1.5oC and fantasy techno-fixes.

“With barely a decade left before we reach this critical threshold we urgently need to focus on the solutions we know are necessary including a rapid and just phase out of fossil fuels.”

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Meanwhile, WWF said the report was the “starkest yet” and pointed out that the effects of climate change are being felt in Scotland.

Fabrice Leveque, climate and energy policy manager, said:“There is no sugar coating the fact that this report is a difficult read, but it’s vital we use it as a rallying cry, as preventing every fraction of a degree of warming really matters.

“The recent storms that have battered Scotland, and the rest of the UK, are a warning of what may be in store if we fail to play our part in limiting global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees.”