Comment on World Weather Attribution heatwave study

North America and Europe heatwaves virtually impossible without climate change, finds analysis.

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By George Smeeton

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Commenting on a World Weather Attribution study on the July heatwaves impacting Europe, North America and China [1], Gareth Redmond-King, Head of International Programme at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said: “Once more we find climate change’s fingerprints all over this continuing extreme heat – across three continents. Last year 61,000 people died from the heatwave in Europe, so we can expect to hear again that it has had a significant death toll. As we keep burning fossil fuels, we add to the 1.1°C+ of heating we’ve already caused, fuelling ever worse climate impacts. It won’t stop until we cut emissions to net zero. And that won’t happen without, amongst other things, a swift transition to electric vehicles and heat pumps, powered by more wind and solar generation; politicians who attempt to delay these measures are locking in more of these extremes.

“In the meantime, these extremes threaten food production. That’s dangerous for the producing countries, feeding their own people. But our food system is global, so this affects us all. Half the UK’s food is imported, and half of that comes from climate hotspots around the world – much of which we can’t, or don’t, grow here. But with UK staple crops like carrots and parsnips also suffering after last year’s drought, it’s in all our interests to keep warming to 1.5°C, and to support farmers everywhere to adapt to our rapidly changing climate. To do otherwise would be to renege on climate leadership the UK has shown in the past with our international commitments.”


Notes to editors:

  1. The World Weather Attribution study on the July heatwaves is available here.

For more information or for interview requests:

George Smeeton, Head of Communications, ECIU, Tel: 07894 571 153, email: