The World Meteorological Organization’s contributions to international cooperation on climate change were recognized in three decisions adopted last Saturday by the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. In these decisions:
• The Conference of the Parties (COP) noted with appreciation the outcome of the Extraordinary Session of the World Meteorological Congress, held in Geneva in October 2012, regarding the further implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services. WMO was invited to report back next year to the Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technical Advice on the outcome of the first meeting of the GFCS Intergovernmental Board, which will take place in July 2013. The GFCS aims to strengthen the production, availability, delivery and application of science-based climate prediction and services.
•The COP recognized the relevance of the GFCS to its decision on “Approaches to address loss and damage associated with climate change impacts in developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change to enhance adaptive capacity”. It further recognized (i) the need to strengthen international cooperation and expertise in order to understand and reduce loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, including impacts related to extreme weather events and slow onset events; (ii) the importance of the systematic observation of climate change impacts; and (iii) the need to enhance access to hydrometeorological and metadata needed to assess and manage climate-related risk.
•The COP adopted the eight-year Doha work programme on Article 6 of the Convention. Article 6 commits governments to promote and facilitate education, public awareness and training in the field of climate change. The COP decision recognizes WMO and five other UN bodies as members of the United Nations Alliance on Climate Change Education, Training and Public Awareness. WMO brings to the Alliance its invaluable networks of experts and of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services as well as a number of relevant programmes.
WMO’s presence was also felt at the conference through the launches of its reports on atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases in 2011 and on the climate trends and events experienced so far in 2012. These reports received a great deal of press coverage and were widely cited during the conference as providing clear evidence of the need for action on climate change. WMO also organized an exhibit and participated in a variety of side events. Furthermore, a number of decisions by the subsidiary bodies to the COP recognized and welcomed WMO’s work.