1.5°C degree temperature rise could come even sooner than expected

According to new climate predictions published by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on 8 July, there is a 20% chance that one of the next five years (2020-2024) will be at least 1.5°C warmer than pre-industrial levels – and the risk is increasing.

Such an acceleration of the climate catastrophe would have far-reaching global consequences. Among the meterological impacts that would directly affect Europe is an increased occurrence of storms in Western Europe.

The last five-year period has already been the warmest five years on record. The average global temperature has already exceeded 1.0°C above the pre-industrial period (1850-1900).

In the face of this predictions, WMO Secretary General Petteri Taalas has emphasised the ‘enormous challenge ahead in meeting the Paris Agreement on Climate Change’. Therefore, as the WMO has repeatedly stressed, the industrial and economic slowdown due to the pandemic is no substitute for sustained climate action. Taalas said that governments should, ‘embrace climate action as part of recovery programmes’. (ed.)