WMO emphasizes adaptation at Chatham House conference
WMO Deputy Secretary-General Elena Manaenkova was one of the speakers at the annual Chatham House Climate Change Conference, with a presentation on a foundation for weather- and climate-resilient sustainable development.
The conference, organized by the UK’s Royal Institute of International Affairs, examined the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report on 1.5°C global warming and its implications for mitigation efforts and adaptation. The IPCC report projects an increase in heat extremes in most inhabited regions, heavy precipitation in several regions, and drought and precipitation deficit in some regions.
Speakers also looked at new frontiers of innovation in sectors with high emissions and opportunities for decarbonization: how to incorporate climate considerations into the regulation, supervision and oversight of financial markets and institutions; and developments in extreme event attribution science and the implications for climate litigation.
“Improvements in early warning systems, preparedness and climate and environmental services are making it possible to limit casualties, property damage, and social and economic disruption, despite the increasing risk of hydrometeorological disasters,” said Ms Manaenkova.
“This would not be possible without the global and regional operational infrastructure and constantly improved meteorological, hydrological, oceanographic, and environmental information as promulgated by WMO over the years,” she said.
Lack of capacity to manage risk in least developed countries and small island developing states is of high concern to WMO. Without this capacity, further global warming will increase poverty and disadvantage in some populations.
A combination of measures – technical, institutional, financial, political and organizational – is needed in order to fully realize the potential contribution of climate services to support adaptation (and mitigation).Financing for early warning systems and climate services for adaptation should be coordinated and lend to the establishment of sustainable operational systems, said Ms Manaenkova
Globally improved observation and forecasting could lead to up to US$ 30 billion per year in increases in global productivity; and up to US$ 2 billion per year in reduced asset losses.
Every dollar spent on weather and climate services could yield between US$ 2 and US$14 in revenues as a result of avoided damages, according to the World Bank.