Helsinki – A new finance mechanism to strengthen weather and climate observations, improve early warnings to save lives, protect livelihoods and underpin climate adaptation for long-term resilience has opened its doors for business.
The Systematic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF) is a key building block spearheaded by United Nations s-General general António Guterres to ensure early warning services reach everyone in the next five years.
SOFF seeks to address the long-standing problem of missing weather and climate observations from Least developed countries and small island developing states.
In support of the Paris Agreement, it will strengthen the international response to climate change by filling the data gaps that limit our understanding of the climate. These gaps affect the capacity to predict and adapt to extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and heatwaves.
Support for the system is expected to grow as additional countries that consider potential future funding attended the meeting. Ministers and senior officials from the initial funders emphasized the urgency of closing the huge weather and climate data gaps through SOFF.
As the climate crisis worsens, it is crucial that systems boost the power of prediction for everyone so countries can reduce disaster risk.
Early warning systems are built on the foundation of weather observation data, but this foundation is patchy to non-existent in smaller countries.
Today, less than 10 percent of required basic weather and climate observations are available from small island developing states and least developed countries.
SOFF provides benefits not only to the most vulnerable countries, but to all countries across the globe. The improved availability of weather and climate observations enabled by the SOFF are essential.