The UN set an ambitious five-year deadline on Wednesday for countries to ensure that citizens worldwide are protected by early warning systems against extreme weather and climate change, the UN chief announced, marking World Meteorological Day.
“Early warnings and action save lives,” Secretary-General António Guterres said in a video message during a ceremony marking the day, adding that the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) would “spearhead new action to ensure every person on Earth is protected by early warning systems within five years.”
The agency will lead the effort and present an action plan in November at this year’s UN climate conference (COP 27) in Egypt.
Spotlighting early warning and early action, Guterres underscored that we must invest equally in adaptation and resilience.
“That includes the information that allows us to anticipate storms, heatwaves, floods and droughts.”
The most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) details the ongoing suffering, as “each increment of global heating” further increases the “frequency and intensity of extreme weather events,” warned Guterres.
He said it was unacceptable that one-third of the world’s people – living mainly in least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS) – are still not covered by early warning systems. The UN Chief said in Africa, it is even worse with 60 per cent of people lacking coverage.
“On this World Meteorological Day, let us recognize the value of early warnings and early action as critical tools to reduce disaster risk and support climate adaptation,” he said. UN News