It’s official: we’ve just had our hottest year on record. Again.

Data released yesterday by the UK Met Office shows last year was the warmest since records began in 1850 — and it’s predicted that 2016 will smash that record for the third year running.

“Global mean temperatures reached 1 degree C above pre-industrial levels for the first time [in 2015], and the year’s average global temperature was the highest ever recorded,” according to Peter Stott, head of climate monitoring at the agency.

While Crikey celebrates the fact that Australia no longer has a prime minister who thinks climate change is “crap”, we don’t think it’s enough for Malcolm Turnbull to merely believe in the importance of climate action — he also has to actually act on it.

He’s had four months to settle in to the top job; he’s been invited to the White House. It’s now time for Turnbull to stand up to his party’s old guard of climate sceptics (we’ve compiled a handy list of the Coalition’s dinosaurs here) and dump his government’s woefully inadequate Direct Action policy.

The science is in; the climate is now in “uncharted territory”, according to experts. The Turnbull government must act urgently to curb carbon emissions. If not now, when?

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey