Photo of WMO Secretary General and its Chief Scientist meeting the UN Secretary-General

WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas and WMO Chief Scientist and Director Research Pavel Kabat have met United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to discuss and announce the official release of WMO's Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2018.

The report is the 25th in a series of annual WMO Statements on the State of the Global Climate, first issued in 1994. This latest release synthesizes and summarizes data from 2018 and marks sustained international efforts dedicated to reporting on, analysing and understanding the year-to-year variations and long-term trends of a changing climate.

WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas was accompanied to New York UN Headquarters by WMO Chief Scientist, Director Research, and WCRP Director Pavel Kabat. The report was then formally released at a joint press conference together with UN General Assembly President María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés. The press event coincided with a high-level meeting on Climate and Sustainable Development for All.

WMO infographics for 2018 climate statement

Outlining the report’s key findings at the press conference, Professor Taalas warned of record greenhouse gas concentrations last year that drove global temperatures towards increasingly dangerous levels. “The time remaining to achieve commitments under the Paris Agreement is quickly running out,” said WMO Secretary-General, Petteri Taalas. In the time since the Statement was first published in 1994, "climate science has achieved an unprecedented degree of robustness, providing authoritative evidence of global temperature increase and associated features such as accelerating sea level rise, shrinking sea ice, glacier retreat and extreme events such as heat waves.”

UN Secretary General António Guterres expressed that "These data confirm the urgency of climate action" and that "There is no longer any time for delay". Guterres will convene a Climate Action Summit at Heads of State level on 23rd September 2019. The State of the Climate report will be one of WMO’s contributions to the Summit. WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas has been appointed Chair to the Summit’s Science Advisory Group, which also includes WMO Chief Scientist, Director Research, and WCRP Director Pavel Kabat.