Boosting the provision of essential weather and climate data – Global

The Systematic Observations Funding Mechanism: Innovative Funding for Effective Climate Action

Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, 9 November 2022 – Partners of the Systematic Observations Funding Facility (SOFF) met at a high-level event during the UN Climate Change Conference COP27 to raise funds to ensure that the most vulnerable countries have the means to acquire and share the essential weather and climate data that underpins all adaptation efforts.

SOFF is focused on supporting Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to close major gaps in basic weather and climate data that are essential for forecasting, build climate resilience and ensure sustainability. effective implementation of the new action plan to ensure that everyone on Earth will be protected by early warnings over the next five years.

“We need to invest equally in adaptation and resilience. This includes information that allows us to anticipate storms, heat waves, floods and droughts,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at the World Leaders Summit at COP27, in reference the Early Warning for All Action Plan.

“Early warning systems save lives and protect livelihoods. We must work to scale up SOFF in support of the Secretary-General’s Early Warning Systems for All initiative as an urgent priority,” said Selwin Hart, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General for climate action and the just transition.

SOFF provides long-term technical assistance and financial assistance in the form of grants to enable countries to acquire and exchange basic weather and climate data internationally. It was established during COP26 in 2021 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) as a Multi-Partner Trust Fund United Nations (UNMPTF). A year later, SOFF is fully operational.

“Today, less than 10 per cent of the required basic weather and climate observations are available for small island developing states and least developed countries,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said during the meeting. SOFF high-level event at COP27. SOFF is key to accelerating the implementation of the internationally agreed Global Core Observing Network (GBON).

“Better global forecasts enable better local forecasts, apps and services which, in turn, can be used to prepare for extreme events and plan for specific environmental conditions, ultimately benefiting everyone,” explained Florence Rabier, Director General of the European Center for Research on Average-Range Weather Forecasts.

Goal to support 100 countries

As part of the Executive Action Plan for the Early Warnings for All initiative, SOFF has an ambitious goal of supporting 100 countries over the next five years. 65 SIDS and LDCs with indefinite technical assistance, investments and results-based financing and 35 ODA-eligible countries with technical assistance. Earlier this month, the SOFF Steering Committee selected the first 26 countries to receive SOFF support.

Mozambican Minister of Transport and Communications, Mateus Magala, welcomed the start of SOFF support in these countries and encouraged donors and implementing partners to rapidly pursue SOFF implementation in all SIDS. and PMA.

SOFF and its financial partners are rapidly scaling up their efforts

Eight initial partners have already made a financial contribution to the SOFF UN Fund: Austria, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, the United States and the Nordic Development Fund which holds the co-presidency of SOFF Steering Committee. And support is growing at COP27. Earlier this week, Spanish President Pedro Sanchez announced a financial contribution from his country, and Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, Minister for International Development said Norway would significantly increase its contribution.

Monica Medina, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, emphasized that “strengthening and maintaining climate data is essential if we are to provide high-quality climate information and warnings. at the local level where adaptation takes place. The United States is proud to support the Systematic Observations Funding Mechanism to fill observational gaps around the world. »

Speaking at the event, Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP, thanked all partners for their support so far and urged other potential funders to follow up with concrete commitments: “If we support the SOFF, we can save lives, protect assets and property, and drive economic growth in the countries hardest hit by climate change. This is solidarity and climate justice in action”.

Weather data is economic data

The event was an opportunity to highlight the value of basic weather and climate data to the global economy.

Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, keynote speaker at the event, said: “In the new climate economy, weather data is an important part of economic data and collecting and sharing this information is absolutely vital. . Better data will improve climate models and climate risk assessments, and this will result in better targeting of critical adaptation investments.”

This data is also essential for the private sector. Africa Risk Capacity CEO Lesley Ndlovu joined the event to highlight the urgent need to address these data gaps to ensure effective disaster risk management and financing in Africa . In recognition of the fundamental value of this data for more reliable and cost-effective responses to climate shocks and disasters, and for building sustainable resilience, SOFF has officially joined the InsuResilience Global Partnership.

Sigrid Kaag, Minister of Finance of the Netherlands and co-chair of the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action, highlighted the importance of weather and climate data for effective economic decision-making. The importance of improving basic weather and climate observations will be on the agenda of the Coalition event on 10 November, co-hosted with WMO.

Advocate for a global goal on observation

The SOFF partners gathered at the event are also working together to reflect the importance of systematic climate observation to achieve the adaptation goal of the Paris Agreement. As part of the presentation of the Global Climate Observing System 2022 Implementation Plan, at COP27, a global goal on observation and sustainable financing for its implementation, including through SOFF , is promoted during the COP27 deliberations. This will help ensure that urgent needs for systematic observation in highly vulnerable countries are met quickly.

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