New York, 21 September 2023 (TDI): During the United Nations Climate Ambition Summit in New York, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) unveiled an expansive collaborative initiative aimed at creating life-saving Early Warning Systems in some of the world’s most climate-vulnerable nations.
During the Climate Ambition Summit, several UN agencies and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) launched a significant initiative aimed at achieving the goal of “Early Warnings for All” by the year 2027.
To kick-start this ambitious endeavor, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has committed an initial funding of $1.3 million.
The ultimate goal is to secure a total of $157 million from the GCF and partner governments to work towards achieving universal early warning coverage.
United Nations Development Program (UNDP), along with its collaborators, is calling upon additional donors to join this initiative, expanding its reach beyond the initial group of countries, which includes Antigua and Barbuda, Cambodia, Chad, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Fiji, and Somalia.
This initiative, designed by UNDP in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), seeks financial support from the GCF, with expectations of other donors participating.
This project plays a vital role in realizing the UN Secretary-General’s “Early Warnings for All” initiative, which aims to ensure global protection from hazardous weather, water, and climate events through life-saving early warning systems by the end of 2027.
Selwin Hart, UN Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on Climate Action and Just Transition emphasized the effectiveness of Early Warning Systems in saving lives and protecting livelihoods in the face of climate crises.
He stressed the need to ensure universal early warning system coverage, especially for those who have contributed the least to climate change.
UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner highlighted the potential of science and technology in disaster prediction and the importance of making early warning tools accessible to all. They invited partners and donors to join the effort.
Mafalda Duarte, GCF Executive Director, emphasized the significance of timely and accurate climate information as the first line of defense against disasters.
GCF’s initial contribution aims to bridge investment gaps for resilient futures in vulnerable communities across the developing world.
According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), between 1970 and 2021, extreme weather, climate, and water-related events caused over 11,000 disasters, resulting in 2 million deaths and $4.3 trillion in economic losses.
By 2050, the global economy could lose up to 14% ($23 trillion) due to climate change.
Multi-hazard Early Warning Systems offer substantial benefits, reducing damage by 30% with just 24 hours notice of a hazardous event and lowering disaster mortality rates by eight times compared to countries with limited coverage.
However, half of the world’s countries lack such systems and resources to address climate extremes.
The six-year project will assist the initial group of countries and at least 20 additional vulnerable nations in developing their early warning systems, with support from the GCF and Early Warnings for All partners.
Implementing partners will tailor their support to each country’s needs, enhancing capacities, providing timely climate information, and contributing to a global knowledge base.
The project will also collaborate with existing initiatives like Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) initiative and the Systematic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF) and connect participating countries with international institutions for sustainable financing and technical support.