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06 December 2023

Record-breaking temperatures in 2016 signal increased need for urgent international action

By Wam

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, today declared 2016 as the hottest year on record globally.

Commenting on the announcement, WWF’s global Climate and Energy Practice leader, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, said, "2016 has been announced as the hottest year ever. If there was ever a time for urgent action on climate change, it is now. Even as global momentum for addressing this crisis is increasing, nature persistently reminds us that we have to pick up the pace.

"Across the world, human-caused climate change is already destabilising food production, increasing water scarcity and accelerating instability among our most vulnerable communities. From the accelerating pace of glacial melt in both the Arctic and Antarctic to devastating cyclones, droughts and fires, nature is sounding the alarm. The drivers of last year’s severe weather events show no sign of slowing and will continue to impact conditions into 2017.

"It is time to leverage the Paris Agreement and to increase ambition for clean energy in the coming years. We need to harness actions from the private sector, civil society and national and local governments to make our collective response stronger and more ambitious. We need to be in this for the long-haul so long term plans and strategies are essential for transitioning to the economy of the future – one powered by clean, renewable sources."

Tanzeed Alam, Director of Climate and Energy at EWS-WWF, said, "The news that 2016 was the hottest year ever comes at a fitting time as the spotlight is on Abu Dhabi Sustainability week, where key players from hundreds of public and private sector entities have gathered to discuss issues relating to action on climate change.

As we have heard at ADSW, two of the key answers to the climate change challenge lie in increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy scale and although good progress has been made in the UAE, we welcome more ambition, more collaboration and more action on both."