Video Message by WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas on the Occasion of the World Meteorological Day 2019
Greetings from Geneva, from the World Meteorological Organization.
The theme of…of the World Meteorological Day today is…is related to [the] Sun, and I would like to emphasize that we are living in a very unique plant. We have [the] Sun, which is giving us both heat and energy for…for the biosphere, and…and the distance between [the] Earth and [the] Sun is just optimal. We haven’t discovered other…other planets where…where the circumstances are so optimal as they are on our…our planet.
We have also water on the planet. We have oxygen. We have [an] ozone layer that is protecting us from…from the harmful solar radiation. We have a magnetic field which is protecting us from…from the…from the particles, from the meteorites, from the…from the…from the space. And we have also [a] very elegant atmosphere which transports heat from the…from the tropical zones towards [the] poles and also transfers water vapor from the…from the oceans to the…to the land area. So we should be very proud of our planet, and…and…and I would say that it’s also worth protecting and taking good care of this…this planet.
There is a need to raise the ambition of climate mitigation and adaption to avoid major risks for the coming generations. This is nowadays very well understood by…by many Heads of State, and also by…by my colleague, United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres. He has decided to host the Climate Summit this September, for the Heads of State in New York, to give a boost for the implementation of Paris Agreement and…and also bring new initiatives on…on board. So the countries are supposed to propose some new things on how to…how to mitigate climate change and also how to…how to adapt to climate change.
I’ve been asked to serve as a Steering Group Member of that Summit. And I was recently asked to chair also the Scientific Advisory Group that will bring the message of [the] Scientific Committee to…to the Summit. And we also…we also give…give guidance to…for the preparation of the…of the Summit. So, there’s still a good chance to limit the negative consequences of climate change. That’s what we learnt from, for example, [the] IPCC 1.5° Report.
Besides mitigation, it’s also highly important to pay attention to adaption and…and the work of the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services. That’s a very, very good way to adapt to climate change, and that’s…that’s what I’m very happy to promote very much.
And also the know-how that we have…we have in our community – that’s highly important. And there’s…there’s a high demand for climate information, climate scenarios for the coming decades, not only for the coming 50 years or 100 years, but also what’s going to happen 10, 20, 30 years from…from now. Many of the investments and many adaption means – they are based on such time scales [periods].
We’re starting the process to see climate change (to) continue and…and also we are…we are carrying out a major historic reform of WMO. And we expect to get approval by the Congress for the…for the reform.
Why….why…why are we carrying out this reform?
First of all, we would like to favor much more Earth System approach when we…when we talk about observations and infrastructures. And we’re also…also happy to promote [a] multi-hazard early warning service approach when we talk about our services, and…and…and so forth.
And there’s also more hydrology engagement needed at WMO. Hydrology is a very important part of disasters. We have flooding and drought, they are having big impacts. Also, it’s a very important part of the…of the climate change-related sciences, and also, it’s an important part of services, for…for…for example, food security-related services.
Then, we would like to engage more the science community and innovation actors in WMO work and…and there is a proposal to establish two new research and science bodies to support that work, and engage also more those kind of players from the…from the whole world.
We also have noticed that the private sector is nowadays a more important part of the…of the…of the…of the global weather enterprise, and…and it’s important that we deal more with the private sector in a coordinated way. And there is a need for a code of ethics and…and a more collaborative approach with the private sector. So…so you’re also supposed to approve a way how we interact with the private sector in the future.
We have already been carrying out [the] reform quite a bit, so not everything is going to happen at the…at the Congress. We have been paying attention to WMO meetings, their outcome and also to the content of the…of the meetings, so that we can focus on…on [the] most important issues from the…from the Members’ perspective and take care of the follow…follow-up.
We have also paid much more attention to resource mobilization. We can now assist our…all of our Members more, and…and we can transfer more know-how from the most developed meteorological services to the…to the rest of the world.
We have built also plenty of new partnerships inside the UN family, and also with some finance institutions, and…and [the] visibility of WMO is…is higher than it used to be. And…and the importance of our expertise at WMO and also your expertise at the national level, that’s…that’s more important.
We have been able to hire new highly skilled and committed staff from all of the regions to WMO, and…and we have been also able to appoint very good female experts to support the work of…of WMO. So I’m very proud of…proud of the staff here in…in Geneva, and…and also at our regional offices. We have, by the way, opened two new regional offices, one in Singapore to serve Regions II and V, and we are soon going to populate our office in…in Addis Ababa to serve Region…Region I.
So, we are going to host the WMO Congress here in Geneva in early June, and…and I’m looking forward to seeing…seeing you all here in Geneva fairly soon. And…and…and you are supposed to make historic decisions which will be beneficial, especially for you, but also for the…for the whole world. So, welcome!
And with these words, I would like to wish you Happy World Meteorological Day!