SECRETARY-GENERAL’S VIDEO MESSAGE ON WORLD METEOROLOGICAL DAY
New York, 23 March 2022
Human-caused climate disruption is now damaging every region.
The most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change details the suffering already happening.
Half of humanity is already in the danger zone.
Each increment of global heating will further increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.
That is why we must limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.
Keeping 1.5 alive requires a 45 per cent reduction in global emissions by 2030 to reach carbon neutrality by mid-century.
But, according to current national commitments, global emissions are set to rise by almost 14 per cent this decade.
The world must end its addiction to fossil fuels, especially coal.
At the same time, we must invest equally in adaptation and resilience.
That includes the information that allows us to anticipate storms, heatwaves, floods and droughts.
Today, one-third of the world’s people, mainly in least developed countries and small island developing states, are still not covered by early warning systems.
In Africa, it is even worse: 60 per cent of people lack coverage.
This is unacceptable, particularly with climate impacts sure to get even worse.
Early warnings and action save lives.
To that end, today I announce the United Nations will spearhead new action to ensure every person on Earth is protected by early warning systems within five years.
I have asked the World Meteorological Organisation to lead this effort and to present an action plan at the next UN climate conference, later this year in Egypt.
We must boost the power of prediction for everyone and build their capacity to act.
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.
Early warning systems save lives.
Let us ensure they are working for everyone.