The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has warned that the trend for the long-term warming of the world’s climate is continuing. The WMO’s Secretary General Petteri Taalas says the world is not on track to meet the climate change target set by the inter-governmental panel on climate change.

The latest figures show 2018 had no natural warming from the Pacific El Niño current, but it is still on track to be the fourth hottest on record.  The 20 warmest years in record have now come in the last 22 years with the top four in the last four years.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said every fraction of a degree of extra warming makes a difference to economic productivity, to human health and access to food and water to the extinction of plants and animals and the survival of coral reefs and marine life.

The United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, has warned that the rise of nationalism around the world has reduced the political will of some countries to work collectively to tackle global warming.

Guterres was speaking ahead of the G20 summit in Argentina, being attended by world leaders including President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The UN chief has urged all political leaders to make reducing climate change a priority.

“We have a very important landmark agreed in the Paris agreement, but some countries are not doing what they committed to do and what was committed was not enough. We need a more ambitious commitment to reduce emissions.”