2023 Officially The Hottest Year On Record

The Eco Experts

Last year was officially the hottest year on record, according to the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).

The global average temperature in 2023 was 1.48°C warmer than the pre-industrial average (late 19th century), and 0.17°C warmer than the 2016 average, the previous hottest year.

Almost half of the days in 2023 were 1.5°C warmer than pre-industrial levels, with two days in November surpassing 2°C of warming for the first time.

This 1.5°C number might sound familiar; it’s the limit set for “safe” levels of global warming in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

To be clear, average temperatures need to exceed 1.5°C of warming for 20 years for the Paris Agreement to be breached, but as the C3S states, this year’s record temperature “sets a dire precedent”.

Unsurprisingly, greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere were also at record highs in 2023, highlighting the link between emissions and global warming.

What can you do to limit global warming?

If you want to help limit global warming, the best thing to do is reduce your carbon footprint (the emissions you directly and indirectly produce).

The average carbon footprint in the UK is around 6 to 13 tonnes of greenhouse gas emission per year, but there are plenty of ways to lower those numbers. Here are just a few:

  1. Decarbonise your heatingreplacing your gas boiler with a heat pump can cut your carbon footprint by around 44%.
  2. Improve your home’s energy efficiency – upgrades such as double glazing, cavity wall insulation, and loft insulation help keep the heat in your home. Your heating system will use less energy to keep you warm, meaning you’ll have lower carbon footprint, and lower bills to boot.
  3. Generate your own renewable energy – only around 40% of electricity in the UK comes from renewable sources, but you can make sure more of yours does by getting solar panels. As a bonus, they’ll save you £537 a year on electricity bills.
  4. Change up your commute – if you drive to work (as the majority of Brits do) and you own a petrol/diesel car, try to replace it with an electric vehicle. EVs don’t produce any emissions when being driven, plus by charging your EV at home, you can save £664 per year compared to charging in public.

These are just a few examples. There are plenty of other ways to be more eco-friendly and reduce your carbon emissions – from travelling less, to eating fewer animal products.

However, ultimately it’s up to the heavy hitters, governments and large corporations, to make big changes to fight global warming.

What can governments do to limit global warming?

To limit global warming, governments need to do more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – the leading driver of climate change – especially in the energy sector.

By decarbonising energy, increasing renewable energy capacity, improving energy efficiency, and cutting methane emissions, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that world governments could reduce emissions by more than 80% by 2030.

Unfortunately, progress on this front isn’t being made fast enough. For example, carbon emissions from the energy sector were at a record high in 2022, the IEA reported.

However, progress is being made with renewables. Several countries across the globe reached new environmental milestones in renewable energy in 2023, and global renewables capacity increased by a record 50% compared to 2022.

Written by:
Tatiana has written about multiple environmental topics, including heat pumps, energy-efficient household products, and solar panels. She is dedicated to demystifying green tech to make eco-friendly living more accessible.
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