Every person on the planet should be protected from climate disasters in five years by an early warning system, the UN Secretary General said.

General António Guterres on Wednesday announced a plan to ensure that every single person on the planet could have access to early warning systems in place within the next five years for extreme weather and environmental catastrophes.

Guterres asked the World Meteorological Organisation to lead the process to ensure that an early warning system covers us all.

Alerting a community just 24 hours before any forthcoming storm or heat wave can lead to as much as 30% less damage, according to the Global Commission for Adaptation.

Access to early warnings, even if temporary, might reduce storm damage by about a third.

“The meteorological services of Malawi and Zimbabwe were not able to forecast the event at all,” WMO Secretary General Petteri Taalas told CNN, via e-mail.

A high-ranking UN official commented: “It will not be easy, it will be challenging, but when one looks at the potential costs of mobilising the resources to make this a reality, it’s a mere fraction, a mere rounding error of the $14tn mobilised by G20 countries over the last two years to recover their economies from Covid-19.”

In some cases, warnings are given, but not sooner than that.

World Meteorological Organization

The World Meteorological Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for promoting international cooperation on atmospheric science, climatology, hydrology and geophysics. (wikipedia)

Petteri Taalas

Petteri Taalas is the Secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Appointed in 2015 by the World Meteorological Congress, (wikipedia)

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