Hopes that 'early warning system' can save climate-vulnerable within five years

AP - Nick Perry

Every person on earth is to be protected from extreme and dangerous weather under a United Nations action plan for “early warning systems” to be implemented within the next five years.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday announced the creation of an advisory board to ensure the plan’s success on the first day of the Cop27 climate conference in Egypt.

The board will be co-managed by the World Meteorological Organisation and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.

"Universal early warning coverage can save lives and deliver huge financial benefits,” Guterres said in a statement.

“Just 24 hours' notice of an impending hazardous event can cut damage by 30 percent and yet, around the world, vulnerable communities have no way of knowing that hazardous weather is on its way.

“Half of the world lacks multi-hazard early warning systems. Even less have climate resilience measures and local disaster preparedness plans.”

Coverage, Guterres added, was worst for poorer countries and island states on the frontlines of climate change.

'Small cost, big benefits'

Investment over five years is estimated to cost US$ 3.1 billion – or what the WMO says is the equivalent of 50 cents per person per year.

“This is a small fraction of the requested US$ 50 billion in adaptation financing,” the WMO said in a press release.

“It would cover disaster risk knowledge, observations and forecasting, preparedness and response, and communication of early warnings.”

News of the action plan comes as WMO data shows the last eight years have been the hottest on record globally.

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