350.org on WMO confirming 2016 hottest year on record

In response to the World Meteorological Organization’s statement on the status of the global climate, which shows that 2016 has been the hottest year on record, 350.org issued the following statement:

“2016 was the year climate change took hold of the world more clearly than ever, with serious humanitarian and environmental consequences. No part of the world can now avoid the fact that climate change is striking harder and faster than many scientists predicted, and that its impacts are taking a higher toll on the most vulnerable communities.

As important as marking that the record is yet again broken, we need to loudly mark what needs to be done to hold back such destruction: we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground. To make that clear, that means no new oil, coal or gas projects.

Decades of progress from scientists and engineers has made renewable energy the cheapest and cleanest source of energy in the world, creating the technological momentum that is matched by the millions of people in all parts of the world demanding climate action.

Elected representatives must heed this momentum – it won’t cost the earth to keep fossil fuels in the ground, but it will cost the earth if they are dug up.” said Aaron Packard, 350.org Climate Impacts Programme Coordinator.

Around the world, weather events such as storms, droughts, floods and wildfires are causing the loss of human lives, threatening the livelihoods of millions and the natural systems.

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Key climate impacts in 2016

  • NOAA declared 2016 as the second hottest year on record in the United States.- 15 weather and climate disasters caused 138 deaths, $46B in damages.
  • According to WMO’s release, long-term indicators of human-caused climate change reached new heights in 2016, as carbon dioxide and methane concentrations surged to new records.
  • Last november, WMO published a provisional statement for 2016 to inform the United Nations Climate Change conference taking place in Marrakech, Morocco (COP22). The final statement will be released in early 2017. For the first time, the assessment considers the humanitarian impact. The following impacts are highlighted in the statement:
    • The most serious drought affected much of southern Africa.
    • The Yangtze basin in China experienced, overall, its most significant flood season since 1999.
    • Extreme heatwaves hit South Africa, and high temperatures set new national records in Kuwait, Iran, Thailand and India.
    • The most damaging wildfire in Canadian history broke out near Fort McMurray, in Alberta.
    • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that weather-related hazards triggered 14.7 million displacements in 2015, and no region of the world remained unaffected.
    • 24 million people have been reported as being in a situation of food insecurity as a consequence of the droughts in eastern Africa
  • The Great Barrier Reef suffered the worst bleaching on record with 92 per cent of coral being affected. Six months after bleaching scientists discover more than two thirds of the northern section of the Reef is dead.

Contact: Jenny Zapata López, 350.org Global Communications Coordinator, jenny.zapata@350.org +521 614 4277692

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