Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer statue was illuminated on Saturday to project the Climate Clock, showing how little time the world hasleftto slow global warming sufficiently to avert disaster.
Brazil’s most iconic monument was illuminated to show the clock tick over from 6 years, 0 days, 00:00 hours to 5 years, 364 days, 23:59.59 hours.
The 2015 Paris Agreement established the goal of limiting the rise in global median temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius. An increase above that threshold, according to climate scientists, will have catastrophic consequences.
The Climate Clock project is the work of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change in Berlin, which in turn uses data from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
“We must take steps to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases to zero as quickly as possible. Time is growing short, while the climate impacts are increasingly greater,” said Natalie Unterstell of the Instituto Talanoa, which brought the Climate Clock to Brazil.
“There is no time to waste on vague promises and false solutions,” she said.
The project's launch in Brazil comes as countries across the globe are battling extreme weather. The United States and Greece are among other countries facing record heat. Niger has also recently been hit by extreme temperatures, soaring to a sweltering 47 degrees Celsius in recent weeks.
Elsewhere, torrential rains have caused scores of deaths in South Korea, Colombia and Brazil.