A street after recent flooding in Brazil

Global: Record-breaking 12-month run of global heat underlines urgency of action to deliver climate justice

Reacting to data from Copernicus Climate Change Service showing that last month was the warmest May ever recorded, and that global average temperatures have now broken records for 12 consecutive months, Ann Harrison, Amnesty International’s Climate Policy Advisor, said:

“Recent floods in Brazil, Kenya and Germany, and record heatwaves in India, other parts of south Asia, and Mexico underline the imminent harm to come from continued global heating unless serious and meaningful action is taken. It is now more essential than ever that the finance required to prevent greater heating, and to allow communities to adapt to the realities of climate change, is significantly scaled up. Failing to act will only increase the costs – both to human rights and to economies.

It is now more essential than ever that the finance required to prevent greater heating, and to allow communities to adapt to the realities of climate change, is significantly scaled up

Ann Harrison, Amnesty International's Climate Policy Advisor

“People in low-income countries are worst affected by this crisis and have the least means to deal with it. The polluters must pay. This means the largest historical emitters of greenhouse gases, and others states which can afford to – including some major fossil fuel producing countries – providing more climate finance to lower-income states.

“The only sure answer to tackling the root cause of global warming is to rapidly phase out fossil fuels, and to fund a fair, fast and forever phase out and shift to renewable sources of power. We are urging parties at the UN Climate Conference in Bonn this week to set a clear path to far greater provision of climate finance.”

Background

The Copernicus Climate Change Service, the European Union’s global climate monitoring service, recorded that May 2024 was the warmest May on record globally. The global average temperature for May 2024 was 1.52°C above the 1850–1900 pre-industrial average, marking the 11th consecutive month (since July 2023) at or above 1.5°C, which was the level countries agreed in Paris in 2016 to act to try and stay below. The global average temperature for the last 12 months from June 2023 to May 2024 is the highest on record, at 1.63°C above the 1850–1900 average. Even if countries were to implement the greenhouse gas reduction commitments they have already made, the planet is on track for almost 3°C of warming this century.