WMO and European Commission forge closer ties

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The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has signed a formal working arrangement with the European Commission on issues of common interest relating to weather, climate, atmospheric environment and hydrology and in support of Europe’s Green Deal.

The arrangement lays out potential areas of cooperation. These include climate change; disaster risk reduction and emergency response; capacity development of early warning systems, Earth observation; water, hydrology and the environment; energy; health; transport; agriculture; coastal zone management; sustainable development; and education, training and research.

The agreement was signed at a virtual ceremony on December 14 by WMO secretary general Prof. Petteri Taalas and the European commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel.

“WMO looks forward to closer collaboration with the European Commission and we are proud to be one of the first UN agencies to sign a formal working arrangement. This should advance our cooperation to tackle major challenges such as climate change, natural hazards, air quality, water management, marine pollution and land degradation. We are committed to do more to protect of society and our planet for present and future generations,” said Prof. Taalas.

“I welcome the opportunity to enhance the collaboration between the European Commission and WMO in view of supporting the implementation of the EU Green Deal, profiting from our mutual experience in the domain of weather and climate forecasting. Through research, innovation and education Europe wants to be a leading partner and hopes this collaboration will inspire other world partners to progress towards concrete initiatives aiming at respecting out planet boundaries,” commented commissioner Gabriel.

The first step toward closer practical ties has already been taken with the secondment of a WMO expert to the EC’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development.

Priorities for cooperation may include:

  • Promote the collection, improvement and dissemination of scientific information on climate, climate change and its impacts. To this end, seek opportunities for collaboration between relevant services of the European Commission and the WMO and its affiliated bodies such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) or the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS).
  • Promote the development, implementation, and improvement of climate services, including initiatives such as the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). Improve climate monitoring, prediction, projections and services in polar and high-mountainous regions. Collaborate on scientific inputs to high-level climate-related policy processes.
  • Contribute to international efforts on disaster risk reduction, resilience and prevention, in particular in response to the risks associated with increasing population exposure to hazards through improvement of the accuracy and effectiveness of risk information, impact-based forecasts and multi-hazard early warnings. Special emphasis on enhancing resilience of developing, least developed countries and small island developing states.
  • Strengthen the global observing systems through sustainable, standardized, integrated, accurate and quality-assured relevant observations of the Earth system (including both satellite and in-situ observations). WMO has proposed the creation of a new Systematic Observations Financing Facility, and this is backed by three major European meteorological institutions. Provide leadership in the establishment of a global CO2  greenhouse gas monitoring system, while taking advantage of the complementary roles on both the satellite (through Copernicus and WMO).
  • Further improve the provision of sustainable high-quality services in support of safety, efficiency and regularity of air traffic management worldwide, with due account to environmental factors.

The working arrangement gives details of possible working modalities, including exchange of information, documentation and data; sharing of experience, advice, technical support and staff; and joint reports and analyses. It builds on a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2003.

It stresses that both WMO and the EC are dedicated to forging harmonious relations and avoiding unnecessary duplication of effort when pursuing common goals. National Meteorological and Hydrological Services and scientific institutions have a key role in achieving such goals.

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With a decade of experience in trade publishing, Hazel first joined UKi Media & Events in 2011 as assistant editor before progressing to editor of Business Airport International. After taking 18 months off to bring up her daughter and try her hand at marketing copywriting, she returned to UKi Media & Events in January 2018 to do what she loves best – magazine editing!

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