Britain’s 10 hottest years on record have all occurred since 2002, according to a new Met Office report, amid warnings deprived parts of the country are on track to “bear the brunt of a climate crisis they did little to cause”.
The study — which revealed British summers could hit over 40°C regularly in years to come — was published in the aftermath of extreme temperature spikes and flash flooding across the country.
The report “confirms for the UK that the climate crisis is not sparing industrialised nations, it’s at our doorsteps,” Steve Trent, CEO of the Environmental Justice Foundation, told The Big Issue.
“For decades, countries in the global south have suffered the impacts of global heating, in a pattern of gross injustice. 99 per cent of all deaths from weather-related disasters occur in the world’s 50 least developed countries — countries that have contributed less than one per cent of global carbon emissions.
“Now, as deadly heatwaves and floods become increasingly likely in the UK, this is played out again on a smaller, national scale. Unless we act now, poorer, marginalised and more vulnerable communities will bear the brunt of a crisis they did little to cause.
“It is shameful that, as industrialised nations, we have waited until our own streets are flooded, our own houses burnt down, to take the climate crisis seriously,” Trent added. “But if we put in place ambitious, effective and equitable policies today, we still have a chance for a just, sustainable world.”