January 2020 was the warmest January since 1880,3 and as global temperatures continue to rise, we will see more extreme storms, floods and droughts, as well as the extinction of species. In the past decade 476 species have been declared extinct,4 and the UN says another million are at risk. This matters – because people rely on food and medicine to survive.
If we limit a global temperature rise to 1.5°C (as per the Paris Agreement) we will: see a 10cm reduction in the rise in sea levels; put the likelihood of an Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer at once per century rather than once per decade; and cause a decline in coral reefs of 70–90%, versus the destruction of more than 99%. This is important because billions of people live in homes that are vulnerable to flooding and increasing frequency of catastrophic weather events.