New figures from the Met Office show that 2014 is almost certain to be the warmest year ever in Scotland, in records that go back to 1910. Meanwhile, 10,000 people are expected to march through the streets of Lima to call on the world’s nations to act on climate change at the UN conference.

2014 is heading for an average temperature of 8.4C, 0.2C warmer than the record set in 2006
2014 had the warmest spring ever recorded
2014 is also heading to be the 6th wettest year ever recorded
2014 is also predicted to be the world’s warmest ever year [3]

Friends of the Earth Scotland Director, Dr Richard Dixon commented:

“These figures are yet more evidence that the planet is warming and we are changing the climate irreparably. Eight of the ten warmest years ever recorded in Scotland will have occurred since 2000. Increasing temperatures will lead to more unpredictable and extreme weather events both at home and around the world. The consequences for Scotland are likely to be more flooding, droughts and storms. Impacts on the global south are likely to be more severe including crop failures, rising sea levels and drastic water shortages.”

Almost 200 countries are meeting in Peru for the latest round of the United Nations negotiations to agree a deal to tackle climate change. World leaders have agreed that we should not let temperatures rise by above 2°C, yet the latest UN report suggests that we are on course for 7.8°C increase by the end of the century if we continue with business as usual.

For the second year running, the Philippines have been pounded by powerful typhoons as the climate talks got underway. Last year Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest on record to hit the Philippines, killed 7,000 people and displaced 4 million. This year one of the biggest peacetime evacuations saw 1 million people moved out of harm’s way as Typhoon Hagupit hit.

Today (Wednesday) will see thousands march through the streets of Lima to put pressure on the world’s nations to make more progress at the climate talks in the city. Peru was previously ranked the country third most vulnerable to a changing climate yet it only contributes 0.4% of the world’s greenhouse gases.

“Scotland is represented at the talks in Lima by our climate change minister, and by environment and development campaigners. The negotiations in Lima need to establish a strong framework for an ambitious and fair agreement to tackle climate change to be signed in Paris next year. Climate change is already impacting worst on nations which are least responsible for contributing to it. Progress at the UN negotiations does not reflect this urgency nor the devastating impact of global warming on the world’s most vulnerable people. That’s why thousands of people will be taking to the streets of Lima on international human rights day to demand climate justice.”

Friends of the Earth Scotland is represented at the negotiations by Head of Campaigns Mary Church.


Notes to Editors

1. Data from the Met Office http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/datasets/index.htm l with further analysis by Friends of the Earth Scotland. December would have to be 2C colder than the long-term average for 2014 to be knocked off the top spot

2. The five warmest years since records began are 2006, 2003, 2007, 2004, 2005 (warmest first).

3. World Meterological Organisation announcement – https://www.wmo.int/pages/mediacentre/press_releases/pr_1009_en.html

4. Why climate change threatens Peru's poverty reduction mission http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2013/dec/1…

5. Typhoon Hagupit sweeps across Philippines http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-30365721

6. Mary Church will be available for interview and will be contributing to a regular blog as part of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland hosted at www.bellacaledonia.org.uk
She can be contacted through the FoE Scotland media team.

7. Friends of the Earth Scotland is:
* Scotland's leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 74 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups.