“Climate change is moving faster than our efforts to address it,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said Thursday as the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) unveiled an alarming report on the acceleration of global warming.
The State of the Global Climate in 2018 highlights evidence of record warming from 2015 to 2018, increasing sea-level rise and worrisome greenhouse gas concentration.
“The data released in this report give cause for great concern. The past four years were the warmest on record, with the global average surface temperature in 2018 approximately 1°C above the pre-industrial baseline,” Guterres wrote in the report.
WMO noted the temperature rise last year came despite the agreement by the international community in December 2015 in Paris to limit global temperature rise to well below 2°C.
“The time remaining to achieve commitments under the Paris Agreement is quickly running out,” said WMO Secretary-General, Petteri Taalas.
Guterres said the new data was “another necessary wake-up call” to push back global warming.
“This means ending subsidies for fossil fuels and high-emitting, unsustainable agriculture, and shifting towards renewable energy, electric vehicles and climate-smart practices,” the UN Chief said.
“It means carbon pricing that reflects the true cost of emissions”, he continued, “and it means accelerating the closure of coal plants, halting plans for new ones, and replacing those jobs with healthier alternatives, so the transformation is just, inclusive and profitable.”