2019 State of Climate Services report shows significant cost benefit of investments in climate services for agriculture and food security

Weather and climate services are vital for sustainable development and climate change adaptation. The benefits of investment greatly outweigh the costs, and yet the capacity to deliver and access these services is uneven and inadequate, according to the inaugural WMO 2019 State of Climate Services report.

Climate services investments have an overall cost benefit ratio of 1 to 10. The evidence suggests that the benefits of investing systematically in strengthening the operational global, regional, national and hydrometeorological system needed for climate services outweigh the costs by about 80 to1.

The report also highlights that “the capacities to deliver and access these services are highly uneven across regions and countries. The challenge is to strengthen the global-regional-national hydro-meteorological system needed to operationalize and deliver these products and services at country level, particularly in developing countries, so that everybody benefits”.

Food-insecure people are among those hit hardest by climate change. Over 80% of the world’s food insecure live in degraded environments exposed to recurrent extreme events such as storms, floods and drought. In a warming world, extreme climate conditions will become more frequent and severe.

The report puts forward strategic recommendations addressing five major areas in need of improvement:

  • Fit-for-purpose financial support to operationalize and scale up climate services to support country-level agrometeorological service delivery, especially in Africa and small island developing states
  • Systematic observations as fundamental for the provision of climate services
  • An enhanced climate science basis for priority climate actions
  • Addressing the “last mile” barrier through multi-stakeholder partnerships
  • Systematic monitoring and evaluation of socioeconomic benefits of climate services

WMO spearheads the Global Framework for Climate Services and prepared the report in partnership with the Adaptation Fund, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Green Climate Fund, the Global Environment Facility, the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, the World Bank and the World Food Programme.

More information and the report are available here.

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