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The Cross-Chapter Paper on “Mountains”, featured in IPCC's AR6 WGII Climate report, compiles observed and projected climate change impacts in mountains, key risks and observed adaptation responses.
The IPCC Working Group II report, Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability (AR6 WGII) was released on Monday, 28 February 2022. The Summary for Policymakers was approved by 195 member governments of the IPCC, through a virtual approval session that was held over two weeks starting on 14 February, and the underlying report was accepted.
This report highlights the interdependence of climate, biodiversity, and people and integrates natural, social, and economic sciences more strongly than earlier IPCC assessments and emphasizes the urgency of immediate action to address climate risks. The report focuses on how we are currently adapting to climate changes, and what adaptation responses may be needed in the future.
The AR6 WGII report is significant to our work in the Hindu Kush Himalaya as it also contains a Cross-Chapter Paper on ‘Mountains’. The last time ‘mountains’ received a dedicated space in the IPCC’s Working Group reports was in the Second Assessment Report in 1995. Mountains were covered recently in 2019 in IPCC’s Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate with a Chapter on “High Mountain Areas”. This is an important step towards bringing mountain voices to a global platform.
The Cross-Chapter Paper on “Mountains” synthesizes key relevant content from the AR6 WGII report with a broader scope on the impacts and adaptation to climate change in mountain regions. It provides a wider assessment of the solutions space and consequences for sustainable development due to climate change in mountain regions and downstream areas.
Here, we unpack some of the key messages from the Cross-Chapter Paper on Mountains and what it means for the HKH region.