Finance and climate communities want to fill gaps in weather and climate data – World


The financial and meteorological communities came together at COP27 to discuss how to fill gaps in weather and climate data and how to use climate data for more effective economic policies.

“Climate data is economic data,” said Mari Pangestu, Managing Director for Development Policy and Partnerships, World Bank Group.

This was echoed by Bo Li, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund.

“Science-based solutions and data are more important than ever. The quality of climate analysis depends on data. Unfortunately, although we have come a long way to expand and improve weather observations, there are currently gaps in weather data,” he said.

Weather and climate data are essential for ministries of finance and the climate science community to model the future, assess physical risks, and formulate climate strategies and policies.

“We need climate data and to match it with our economic and financial data. Our hope is that integrating this data will help and inform our assessments of physical risks and risks to the global financial system and stability,” said Alexia Latortue, assistant secretary. for International Trade and Development, United States Department of the Treasury

WMO Secretary-General, Professor Petteri Taalas, underlined the interdependence. In the United States, two-thirds of the gross domestic product depends on the weather, for example the agriculture, energy and aviation sectors, he said.

The Caribbean island of Dominica lost the equivalent of 800% of its GDP in a hurricane in 2017, setting back many years of socio-economic development.

Many African countries regularly experience huge losses from floods and droughts as a proportion of their GDP.

“It is 20 times cheaper to mitigate climate change than to live with its consequences.

For every dollar you invest in a weather service, you earn $10,” he said at the event at the World Bank Pavilion.

First warnings for all

SOFF and its financial partners are rapidly scaling up their efforts. Eight initial partners have already made a financial contribution to the SOFF UN Fund: Austria, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, the United States and the Nordic Development Fund which holds the co-presidency of SOFF Steering Committee. And support is growing at COP27. Earlier this week, Spanish President Pedro Sanchez announced a financial contribution from his country, and Norway also pledged a substantial increase in its contribution.

SOFF initially identified 26 least developed countries and small island developing states as a priority. Madagascar is one of them.

“The lack of data and the failure of international data exchange is mainly a financial problem, and related to the allocation of a budget that does not cover the cost of maintenance or spare parts,” said Nirivololona Raholijao , Director General of the Office of Climate and Meteorology, Madagascar

“SOFF is a good opportunity to fill those gaps,” she said. “We are grateful to SOFF donors for helping countries in need improve early warning and forecasting for the benefit of humanity.”

Earlier this year, Madagascar was hit by six tropical storms and cyclones in less than a month. It killed more than 200 people and affected more than 150,000 people. The southern part of the Indian Ocean island has been ravaged by drought.

Why are data gaps important?

“Weather is connected, the Earth is round. Every weather balloon launched in Madagascar will improve global weather forecasts,” said Florian Pappenberger, Deputy Director General of the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).

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