The Climate Crisis is upon us. It will get lot worse over the next few decades as planetary heating shoots past 1.5C by early 2030s. The warming curve is likely to bend around the latter half of this century in response to global scale actions to mitigate emissions of the heat trapping pollutants. We no longer have the luxury of relying just on mitigation of emissions. We need to embark on building climate resilience so that people can bend the emissions curve and bounce back from the climate crisis safer, healthier, wealthier to a sustainable world.
The Vatican, through the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, formed a new initiative on Climate Resilience in 2022 and brought researchers, policy makers and faith leaders together to understand the scientific and societal challenges of climate change and recommend solutions for resilient people and resilient ecosystems. The Climate Resilience concept adapted for organizing this summit follows these recommendations.
Climate Resilience must be built on three pillars: Mitigation to reduce climate risks; Adaptation to manage unavoidable risks; and Societal transformation to enable mitigation and adaptation.
Climate resilience is part of a triplet of interlinked environmental crises: climate change, biodiversity loss and global inequality. In designing this Summit, albeit focused on climate change, we will also highlight solutions that also address biodiversity and inequality. Particular human outcomes we focus upon are interrelated: increased poverty, forced human migration, and public heatlh, including mental health.
Climate Resilience requires both cross-disciplinary partnerships among researchers, engineers, and entrepreneurs, as well as trans-disciplinary partnerships between science and community leaders including faith leaders, NGOs, and the public. Mayors and Governors form the core of such transdisciplinary partnerships.