The year 2023 broke all records – it was by far the hottest year ever measured since 1850, confirmed by scientists from all around the globe. Alarmingly, 2023 was in average nearly 1.5°C warmer than in pre-industrial times. We are already reaching the 1.5°C line which the international community has set to slow down and stop the climate crisis.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has just published their key messages regarding the immense range of climate changes in 2023: 2023 set to be the warmest year on record, greenhouse gas levels continue to increase, record sea surface temperatures and sea level rise, record low Antarctic sea ice, extreme weather causes death and devastation.
Deforestation and use of fossil fuels are two of the main drivers of climate change and increased temperatures. It is time to act now – not only at international level but also national level. Governments should take their commitments serious to bring the long-needed change in the energy sector – away from fossil fuels, in the direction of renewable energy.
Sierra Leone is blessed with a lot of sunshine, wind and a coastline. With strong policies to support solar and wind energy, the country could become more independent in the energy sector and contribute to the global 1.5°C goal. The protection of our forests – terrestrial and marine – should go along with the change in the energy sector. Scientific data proves the great power of rain forests and mangrove forests to bind carbon dioxide, cool the climate and fight climate change.
All data shows that temperatures will increase, sea level will increase and flooding, draughts, uncertain weather conditions will become “normal” for us. For decades now, scientists have been warning about what was about to come. It is here now, and it is on us to stop this development and keep the earth a place where future generations can live and thrive.