Innovative financing for global weather and climate data – World

The Nordic Development Fund (NDF) has committed €10 million to the Systematic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF), a groundbreaking financing mechanism designed to improve the global understanding of climate change by dramatically increasing the availability of essential weather and climate data.

NDF Chief Executive, Ms Karin Isaksson, welcomed the establishment of SOFF and stressed that “having accurate measurements is important for early warning systems to work effectively. They sharpen decisions for both public and private investors, and above all save lives and increase the resilience of the most vulnerable populations”

The latest report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has made it clear that climate change is already impacting every corner of the world and that much more serious impacts are to come if we do not take action. adequate measures now. Implementing this new funding mechanism will ensure that climate action is based on the best science and data available and will enable the breakthrough on climate adaptation called for by the UN Secretary-General.

“We need to continue to invest in basic observing systems and fill data gaps, but it will take all UN agencies,” said Professor Petteri Taalas, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization. (WMO), when the IPCC report was published.

Strengthening the foundations of adaptation

All weather and climate monitoring and forecasting activities begin with the collection and global exchange of observations – these data are the only source of knowledge about the atmosphere and climate system. However, there are currently large data gaps from least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS), which undermine the basis on which all climate adaptation investments and decisions are made.

“Vulnerable countries do not have sufficient resources to comply with internationally agreed requirements for the generation and exchange of basic weather and climate data. Many small island states like us, despite being small countries, have a great geographical responsibility in terms of data collection and yet our resources are very limited,” said the Prime Minister of Cabo Verde, HE Ulisses Correia e Silva .

Invest in innovation

Investments made in observing systems over the past three decades have generally not resulted in a significant and sustained increase in observational data exchange and the situation continues to deteriorate.

SOFF responds to the need to develop a global approach and an innovative financing model to address this issue. Innovative features of SOFF include the use of sustained international data exchange as a measure of investment success; provide long-term results-based funding for sustainable data sharing; improve technical skills through peer-to-peer advisory services, harnessing the expertise of advanced national meteorological services; and leveraging partner knowledge and resources.

Recognizing the importance of improving the availability of observational data to improve the quality of critical weather forecasts and climate services, the Nordic countries have strongly supported the establishment of SOFF from the beginning. “Before we can start to adapt, we need to have solid data on weather and climate,” Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Flemming Møller Mortensen said when setting up SOFF at COP26 in Glasgow.

Protect lives and the economy

Everyone will benefit from closing these critical data gaps. According to a 2021 study by the World Bank, WMO and the UK Met Office, investments in weather and climate observations are key to fully realizing the US$162 billion minimum annual socio-economic benefits estimated weather and climate forecasts.

“The establishment of SOFF is a critical step to bring tangible benefits in terms of lives saved, improved disaster management, livelihoods, biodiversity, food security, water supply and economic growth,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme.

Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, underlined that “the United Nations system plays a vital role in helping vulnerable communities around the world to get ahead, to adapt to the effects of climate change and building much-needed resilience. UNDP is therefore proud to have established with WMO and UNEP the Systematic Observations Funding Mechanism.

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