May Marked Another Record-Breaking Year for Heat

The findings prompted the Secretary-General of the United Nations to call for a global advertising ban on the fossil fuel industry.

By Costas Vasilopoulos
Jun. 15, 2024 14:14 UTC

After a new report from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service found that May 2024 was the hottest May ever, United Nations sec­re­tary-gen­eral António Guterres called for a global ban on fos­sil fuel adver­tis­ing.

I urge every coun­try to ban adver­tis­ing from fos­sil fuel com­pa­nies,” Guterres said in his speech in New York’s American Museum of Natural History. And I urge news media and tech com­pa­nies to stop tak­ing fos­sil fuel adver­tis­ing.”

We need an exit ramp off the high­way to cli­mate hell. The bat­tle for 1.5 degrees will be won or lost in the 2020s.- António Guterres, U.N. sec­re­tary-gen­eral

According to the Copernicus report, May 2024 was the warmest May on record, also mark­ing 12 straight months (from June 2023 to May 2024) of the hottest months ever.

For the past year, every turn of the cal­en­dar has turned up the heat,” Guterres said.

See Also:Trees Less Effective at Sequestering Carbon in a Hotter, Drier World

Climate change is the mother of all stealth taxes paid by every­day peo­ple and vul­ner­a­ble coun­tries and com­mu­ni­ties,” he added. “ Meanwhile, the god­fa­thers of cli­mate chaos – the fos­sil fuel indus­try – rake in record prof­its and feast off tril­lions in tax­payer-funded sub­si­dies.”

Guterres reit­er­ated his pro­posal for a global tax on fos­sil fuel com­pa­nies’ wind­fall’ prof­its, also urg­ing the world’s finan­cial insti­tu­tions to stop bankrolling fos­sil fuel destruc­tion and start invest­ing in a global renew­ables rev­o­lu­tion.”

Fossil fuel groups responded to the U.N. chief’s claims, say­ing that address­ing cli­mate change is an impor­tant aspect of their energy pro­duc­tion.

Our indus­try is focused on con­tin­u­ing to pro­duce afford­able, reli­able energy while tack­ling the cli­mate chal­lenge, and any alle­ga­tions to the con­trary are false,” said Megan Bloomgren, senior vice pres­i­dent of com­mu­ni­ca­tions at the American Petroleum Institute.

While the rise in global tem­per­a­tures is mainly attrib­uted to human emis­sions of planet-warm­ing gasses, the El Niño cli­matic phe­nom­e­non has also con­tributed to a warmer planet in 2023 and the first months of 2024.

The data from Copernicus also showed that the global mean tem­per­a­tures in the 12-month period were the high­est on record, ris­ing to 0.75 ºC above the 1991 to 2020 aver­age and 1.65 ºC above the pre-indus­trial times (1850 to 1900).

However, the global warm­ing thresh­old has not been crossed since an increase in aver­age global tem­per­a­tures of more than 1.5 ºC over sev­eral decades com­pared to pre-indus­trial tem­per­a­tures is required to breach the limit.

Scientists have long warned that exceed­ing the 1.5 ºC thresh­old will irre­versibly impact human and nat­ural sys­tems on the planet.

According to a study by 57 sci­en­tists world­wide, if human­ity con­tin­ues to rely on fos­sil fuels for energy, in 4.5 years, the planet will reach a point where cross­ing the global warm­ing thresh­old will be unavoid­able.

We need an exit ramp off the high­way to cli­mate hell,” Guterres said. The bat­tle for 1.5 degrees will be won or lost in the 2020s.”

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