UK temperature reaches 40C for the first time on record

Press release
A provisional temperature of 40.2C was recorded at Heathrow this afternoon, exceeding the previous record set in 2019
  Published:  19 Jul 2022    |      1 minute read

The Met Office has announced that the UK’s temperature record has been broken, reaching 40 degrees for the first time.


Reacting for Friends of the Earth, Mike Childs, head of science, policy and research, said:

"Scientists have long warned this day would come, only it's reached us even earlier than expected. People will rightly be concerned, but with swift and ambitious action the worst of climate breakdown can still be averted.

"As communities across the UK face unprecedented temperatures, the government’s climate strategy was yesterday found to be unlawful and inadequate in the courts. Candidates vying for Conservative party leadership cannot ignore the vital importance of curbing the climate and nature crises. We need climate action that goes further, and faster, so that the next generation has a world left to inherit."

Last week, Friends of the Earth and Manchester University published new research identifying the communities set to be hardest hit by extreme heat in England as climate breakdown intensifies.

They found that there are 3,000 neighbourhoods that should be prioritised for publicly-funded adaptation projects and greater efforts to reduce planet-heating greenhouse gases. More information about the research can be viewed here.

In a historic High Court ruling, the government’s climate strategy was yesterday found to be unlawful in a claim brought by Friends of the Earth, ClientEarth, and the Good Law Project. This is because it does not meet the government’s obligations under the Climate Change Act to produce detailed climate policies that show how the UK’s legally-binding carbon budgets will be met.

The court has told the government that it must now update its strategy to include the essential missing information and it must be presented to parliament for proper scrutiny by the 31 March 2023. For more information please visit our website here.



1. Millions at risk from extreme heat unless climate goals met | Friends of the Earth press release:

2. Govt’s climate strategy deemed ‘unlawful’ in historic ruling | Friends of the Earth press release: