Warming stripes ‘emblem for action’ showcased at global climate conference
Release Date 23 April 2021
A stark visualisation of global warming created by the University of Reading has been showcased at a climate change event attended by political and financial leaders.
A video explainer of the ‘warming stripes’, created by Professor Ed Hawkins, opened the Green Horizon Perspectives event, co-hosted by the City of London Corporation and Green Finance Institute, and supported by World Economic Forum.
The event took place on Tuesday (20 April) and was attended by dignitaries in the green finance and climate policy sectors. These included Mark Carney, former Governor of the Bank of England and now UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance and Boris Johnson’s Finance Advisor for COP26, who also shared the global stripes image with his 30,000 followers on Twitter the day before the event.
The warming stripes were first published in 2018, and have since been downloaded and shared by millions of people and adopted by global organisations. Stripes for more than 200 countries and states worldwide are publicly accessible at showyourstripes.info.
"These simple yet striking illustrations... can be a vital tool in sparking those conversations, which are crucial to increasing public understanding and informing policies." - Professor Ed Hawkins, University of Reading
Professor Hawkins said: “This is a huge year for climate action, with the delayed COP26 due to be held in Glasgow this November and leaders already meeting to discuss commitments on reducing emissions and announcing increasingly ambitious targets.
“If we are to get serious about action then everyone needs to be having conversations about climate change. These simple yet striking illustrations, showing how global warming is affecting every corner of the globe, can be a vital tool in sparking those conversations, which are crucial to increasing public understanding and informing policies.
“It was an honour to see the stripes featured at such a high-profile event. I hope the many illustrious and influential figures were inspired and will take up my challenge to show their stripes on climate change.”
Among the speakers at the Green Horizon Perspectives conference were William Russell, Rt Hon The Lord Mayor of the City of London; Sir Roger Gifford, Chair of Green Finance Institute; Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas OBE, CEO of the Green Finance Institute; Dominic Waughray, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum; Alison Rose, Group CEO of NatWest Group; Nigel Topping, COP26 High Level Champion for Climate Action; and Clare Woodman, EMEA Head and CEO at Morgan Stanley & Co International PLC.
The warming stripes have previously been adopted by the US House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis in its logo, displayed by television weather presenters worldwide, used on the front pages of national news publications, and were even emblazoned across the Main Stage at Reading Festival.
They have been shared widely on social media, including by organisations and broadcasters such as climate activist group Extinction Rebellion, the Weather Channel in the US, the World Meteorological Organization, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The University of Reading is taking a leading role in the upcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment report, with seven lead authors across the working groups, making Reading the most represented institution worldwide in the first working group.