Record-breaking heatwaves killed about 1,500 people in France

Macron 19

Mr Emmanuel MACRON, President of France. Copyright: European Union Event: Special meeting of the European Council – July 2019

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Rosamond Hutt, Senior Writer, Formative Content


In late July, a heatwave engulfed Europe, breaking temperature records in the UK, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. It was the second episode of extreme heat to hit the continent since June.

France measured its highest-ever temperature of 46°C at Verargues, near Montpellier, in June. Then, in July, Paris broke its own record with a new high of 42.6°C.

The two heatwaves caused about 1,500 more deaths than usual in France for the time of year, according to health minister Agnes Buzyn. Half of those who died were aged over 75.

The toll was far lower than in the summer of 2003, when about 15,000 people died during a heatwave that lasted 20 days.

There were 18 days of extreme heat during June and July, Buzyn told French radio. Preventive measures had reduced mortality “by a factor of 10”, she said.

Rank of annual maximum temperatures in 2019 compared to 1950-2018.
Image: WWA

The French national weather service issued red alerts – the highest level – in several areas. Events were called off, “cool rooms” were set up in public buildings, pools opened for late-night swimming, more drinking fountains were installed and authorities made regular checks on elderly and vulnerable people.

Meanwhile firefighters battled to contain forest fires raging in southern France. In June, Catalonia in the northeast of Spain, had its worst wildfire in 20 years. Blazes also wreaked havoc in Greece.

What’s the World Economic Forum doing about climate change?

Climate change poses an urgent threat demanding decisive action. Communities around the world are already experiencing increased climate impacts, from droughts to floods to rising seas. The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report continues to rank these environmental threats at the top of the list.

To limit global temperature rise to well below 2°C and as close as possible to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, it is essential that businesses, policy-makers, and civil society advance comprehensive near- and long-term climate actions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The World Economic Forum’s Climate Initiative supports the scaling and acceleration of global climate action through public and private-sector collaboration. The Initiative works across several workstreams to develop and implement inclusive and ambitious solutions.

This includes the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, a global network of business leaders from various industries developing cost-effective solutions to transitioning to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. CEOs use their position and influence with policy-makers and corporate partners to accelerate the transition and realize the economic benefits of delivering a safer climate.

Fingerprints of climate change

July “at least equalled if not surpassed the hottest month in recorded history”, and followed the hottest June ever, according to data from the World Meteorological Organization.

An analysis by World Weather Attribution (WWA), an international group of scientists who examine the possible influence of climate change on extreme weather events, found climate change made the scorching temperatures in July more likely to occur and more intense.

The WWA said climate change had made the heatwave in France and the Netherlands 10 times more likely, in Germany eight times more likely and in the UK, where the hot spell didn’t last as long, at least two times more likely.

The study also found temperatures during the July heatwave were likely between 1.5°C to 3°C hotter due to climate change.

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Execution of juvenile offender in Iran ‘deeply distressing’ – UN rights chief

Crucial medical supplies airlifted to north-east Syria to meet ‘desperate need’

Who and why want the EU-US trade agreement here and now

‘Compelling case’ for urgency around global disarmament, UN-led forum told

E-cigars: Improbable ally or enemy in disguise?

“A Junior Enterprise is run only by students.. there are no professors or managers that can help you solve your problems”

Intervene, don’t overthink – the new mantra of systems design

TTIP’s 11th round major takeaways and the usual “leaked” document

Opposite cultures: Should it be a problem?

Pledging ongoing UN support during visit to cyclone-hit areas, Guterres praises resilience of Mozambicans

Air quality: Commission takes action to protect citizens from air pollution

Sustainable development demands a broader vision, says new OECD Development Centre report

How oysters are cleaning New York’s polluted harbor

EU seeks foreign support on 5G from Mobile World Congress 2015 as the “digital gold rush” begins

SMEs and micro firms sinking together with south Eurozone

“The markets have moved on renewables, policy makers must keep up”, A Sting Exclusive by Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment

UN Human Rights Council stands firm on LGBTI violence, Syria detainees and Philippines ‘war on drugs’

UK’s PM Theresa May asks for a two-year Brexit transition plan as negotiations round kicks off

Drought in Europe: Member States agree on support measures proposed by the Commission

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Climate crisis and food risks, fresh violence threat for millions of Syrians, calls for calm in Kashmir

Trade in counterfeit goods costs UK economy billions of euros

Refugee crisis update: EU still lacks solidarity as Hungary and Slovakia refuse to accept EU Court’s decision

How to future-proof India’s economy

EU’s judicial cooperation arm, Eurojust, to become more effective with new rules

Our healthcare systems are ailing. Here’s how to make them better

How universities can become a platform for social change

UNICEF backpacks used as a haunting symbol to call for greater protection of children living in conflict

Radioactive nuclear waste is a global threat. These scientists may have a new solution

OECD leading multilateral efforts to address tax challenges from digitalisation of the economy

Iraq protests: UN calls for national talks to break ‘vicious cycle’ of violence

A Europe that protects: EU reports on progress in fighting disinformation ahead of European Council

Commission presents EU-Vietnam trade and investment agreements for signature and conclusion

Blue bonds: What they are, and how they can help the oceans

Obesity rates soar due to dramatic global diet shift, says UN food agency

Coronavirus crisis: “Commission will use all the tools at its disposal to make sure the European economy weathers the storm”

Mexico must increase foreign bribery enforcement: full implementation of anti-corruption reforms could help

Two peacekeepers killed in an attack against UN convoy in Mali

EuroLat plenary in Panama: control of trade talks and fight against crime

Is the English language too powerful?

Trade: First year of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement shows growth in EU exports

UN agriculture agency digs in to help forests and farms build resilience to climate change

Disaster Medicine in Medical Education: the investment you just can´t afford to ignore

A Sting Exclusive: “Infrastructure can lay the groundwork for the Sustainable Development Goals” by Mr Fulai Sheng, UN Environment Senior Economist

Commission proposes a governance framework for the Budgetary Instrument for Convergence and Competitiveness

Why enterprise risk management is the future for banks

Streaming music isn’t as green as you might think. Here’s why

‘Young people care about peace’: UN Youth Envoy delivers key message to Security Council

Why the ECB prepares to flood the markets with more and free of charge euro; everybody needs that now

Deal on tightening the rules to stop terrorists from using homemade explosives

A Europe that protects: Continued efforts needed on security priorities

International community renews commitment to multilateral efforts to address tax challenges from digitalisation of the economy

EU invests more than €100 million in new LIFE Programme projects to promote a green and climate-neutral Europe

What the car industry has done to help fight climate change – and what it needs to do next

MWC 2016 LIVE: Freemium MVNO model a success, claims FreedomPop head

This company is breeding millions of insects in the heart of London

Millions more migrant workers, means countries lose ‘most productive part’ of workforce

‘Brutal weather’ continues as Rohingya refugee children endure devastating rainfall in Bangladesh

Turkey remains numb while its economy is expected to shrink further due to a cocktail of EU and US sanctions

More taxpayers’ money for the banks

Electronic cigarettes – The alternative we’ve been looking for?

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s