This report recognizes the interdependence of climate, ecosystems and biodiversity, and human societies and integrates knowledge more strongly across the natural, ecological, social and economic sciences than earlier IPCC assessments. The assessment of climate change impacts and risks as well as adaptation is set against concurrently unfolding non-climatic global trends e.g., biodiversity loss, overall unsustainable consumption of natural resources, land and ecosystem degradation, rapid urbanisation, human demographic shifts, social and economic inequalities and a pandemic.
The vulnerability of exposed human and natural systems is a component of risk, but also, independently, an important focus in the literature. Approaches to analysing and assessing vulnerability have evolved since previous IPCC assessments. Vulnerability is widely understood to differ within communities and across societies, regions and countries, also changing through time.