The term is defined as “a situation in which urgent action is required to reduce or halt climate change and avoid potentially irreversible environmental damage resulting from it”.
Oxford chose the word “climate emergency” from a shortlist of words mostly related to the environment.
An analysis of Oxford’s Language Data revealed a sharp increase in public interest in the term. From barely used it became one of the most visible and widely discussed terms in 2019.
By September 2019 “ climate emergency ” as per Oxford Dictionary research was more than 100 times more likely to be used than in 2018.
In fact, the use of the term has grown by more than 10,700% between September 2018 and September 2019, as per Oxford’s Team.
In 2019, a climate emergency outdid all other types of emergency, and with an immense speed became one of the most important words in the world.
Catherine Connor Martin, the editor of the Oxford Dictionaries, told the New York Times: “When we looked at the evidence, it was clear that the climate issues affected all the different lexical elements we worked with. This reflects this was a real concern for the English-speaking world in 2019. “
This November, in a new report, a global team of more than 11,000 scientists from more than 150 countries officially announced that the world was in a “climate emergency”.
“Scientists have a moral obligation to warn humanity of any serious threat,” said Thomas Newsome of the University of Sydney, one of the authors of the report. “From the data we have, it’s clear that we are facing a climate emergency.”
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