Comment on European State of the Climate 2023

Gareth Redmond-King is available for comment and interview.

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By George Smeeton

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Commenting on the European State of the Climate 2023 report [1], Gareth Redmond-King, Head of International Programme at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said:

"We’ll see more years like 2023 until we stop burning fossil fuels and pouring more emissions into the atmosphere. Net zero is the only solution we have to avoid even worse extremes. New evidence just last week showed the costs of climate impacts already built-in are six times higher than the price-tag for cutting emissions [2] - which could avoid a further trebling of those climate change costs by the end of the century.

"Impacts include food security. We import half our food into the UK; a quarter of those imports from the Mediterranean region that was hit hard by last year’s heat. [3] Extreme heat there has shown in price rises here - more than doubling the cost of olive oil in a year, for example. And whilst we didn’t see the same intense heat here, UK farmers have also been hit, with an unusually wet winter likely to cut yields of cooking oil crops by nearly two fifths. [4] Whether facing extreme drought or flooded fields, famers at home and abroad need help to adapt. In the UK, that means long-term support to improve soil health as well as to plant more hedgerows and trees that protect land from flooding. Without it, and without net zero by mid-century, we risk rising prices and growing food insecurity." [5]

Notes to editors:

1. European State of the Climate 2023 report is published by the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) on 22 April 2024.

2. PIK: 38 trillion dollars in damages each year: World economy already committed to income reduction of 19 % due to climate change:

3. ECIU: Climate impacts on UK food imports. Spotlight on: the Mediterranean:

4. ECIU: Cooking oil ‘double whammy’ price shock:

5. ECIU: Climate, Fossil Fuels and UK Food Prices: 2023:

For more information or for interview requests:

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