Global Framework for Climate Services Moves Ahead

By Geoff Hughes

A schematic of four components (in rectangular boxes) and the capacity-building component (represented by a cloud that encompasses the other components) of the Global Framework for Climate Services proposed by the High-Level Taskforce

A schematic of four components (in rectangular boxes) and the capacity-building component (represented by a cloud that encompasses the other components) of the Global Framework for Climate Services proposed by the High-Level Taskforce. Source: World Meteorological Organization

The World Meteorological Congress that closed on June 3, 2011, placed the Global Framework for Climate Services among its top five priorities for the next four years, and will meet in 2012 for the purpose of reviewing and adopting a draft implementation plan. The Framework will operate as an intergovernmental board, with a governance structure similar to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and will be hosted by the World Meteorological Organization.

The Global Framework for Climate Services envisions a coordinated effort on the part of such organizations as National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, oceanographic and agricultural institutes, satellite operators and research centers that already produce climate information and services. The Framework will enable these producers to improve the quality and volume of climate services worldwide, to help people manage climate risks and opportunities.

Among the potential users of these services are farmers, water managers, planners, energy specialists, marine operators, construction managers, disaster managers and insurance experts. While the primary goal is to improve climate services for all countries, a priority of the Framework is building capacity in climate-vulnerable developing countries.

Jan Egeland, Executive Director of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, was a co-chair of the High-Level Taskforce that reported on the Global Framework on Climate Services to the World Meteorological Congress.

Speaking on the needs for climate services, Egeland told the WMO Bulletin, “The greatest injustice on our watch is that those who did the least to cause climate change are the first and hardest hit. We need to rectify this. Bringing climate information to the most vulnerable and enabling them to act is very important.”

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