New York

06 February 2019

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on data released by World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

The Secretary-General notes with concern the data released by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) that have confirmed 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 as the four warmest years on record. According to the analysis, the global average surface temperature in 2018 was approximately 1.0° Celsius above the pre-industrial baseline (1850-1900).

The data released by WMO confirm the urgency of addressing climate action – as emphasized by the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. The IPCC report that found that limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require “rapid and far-reaching transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities” and that global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide would need to fall by about 45 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching ‘net zero’ around 2050.

The Secretary-General notes that, to make these transformations, we need to significantly increase the global level of climate action and ambition. The Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit on 23 September this year aims to mobilize political will to raise ambition for the achievement of the goals of the Paris Agreement and it will also demonstrate transformative action in all the areas where it is needed. 

The Summit will focus on nine key areas: mitigation ambition; energy transition; industry transition; nature-based solutions; infrastructure, cities and local action; climate finance and carbon pricing; resilience and adaptation; social and political drivers; and mobilization. The Secretary-General is working closely with Member States and non-party stakeholders to bring outcomes in these areas to the Summit that will send strong market and political signals that can inject momentum into the race to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.