The scientific assessments carried out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have delivered robust and rigorous scientific information for the complex negotiations that should produce a binding agreement to limit climate change and its impacts and risks. Understanding climate change as a threat to key resources for the livelihood of humans and the functioning of ecosystems provides a more appropriate perspective on the scale of the problem. Model simulations suggest that today many options exist to limit climate change. However, these options are rapidly vanishing under continued carbon emissions: Temperature targets must be revised upwards by about 0.4°C every decade for constant mitigation ambitions. Mitigating climate change has the important benefit of creating favorable conditions to reach many of the Sustainable Development Goals; business-as-usual and consequent unchecked climate change will make these important universal goals unreachable.