Photo: © Joko P/

Global resilience by empowering communties: the “Early Warnings for All” intiative at COP28

By: Kenza Khomsi

The urgency of addressing climate change and its impacts has never been more apparent, and the “Early Warnings for All” initiative stands at the forefront of global efforts to enhance resilience against meteorological risks. At COP28, the initiative received significant attention.

The “Early Warnings for All” initiative was launched in response to a request made on World Meteorological Day 2022 by UN Secretary-General António Guterres. It is co-led by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), with support from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and other partners. This initiative aims to provide life-saving early warning systems for every person on Earth by the end of 2027, protecting them from the effects of dangerous weather, water, or climate disasters. “Early Warnings for All” highlights the critical need for integrated, multi-hazard, early warning systems that combine disaster risk information, observations, monitoring, analysis, forecasting, warning dissemination, communication, and preparedness/response skills. It aims to enhance collaborations between different stakeholders and disciplines at various scales. “Early Warnings for All” has received significant interest at COP28.

At COP28 in Dubai, “Early Warnings for All” had received much attention. From the high-level scale to specific side events, this up-to-date topic was discussed from different perspectives. On 3 December, the first Health Day ever at COP, a high-level event gathered different countries to share the progress made towards the goals of “Early Warnings for All”. Lessons learnt from some of the first countries to roll out the initiative were shared in order to inform others developing their own national roadmaps. Collaborative partnerships and innovative approaches are indeed advancing the entire early warning to early action chain, supporting countries in their endeavours to adapt to current and future climate risks. This also illuminates the path ahead for additional partners to engage in collective efforts towards achieving the comprehensive goal. The Science for Climate Action pavilion hosted a WMO side event, focusing on a rapid assessment of country monitoring and forecasting capacity related to “Early Warnings for All”. The findings, presented through an interactive dashboard, provided a comprehensive overview of global statistics, pillar metrics, and baseline data on countries’ capacities. At the national level, as exemplified by the Morocco pavilion, a side event led by the General Directorate of Meteorology (the Moroccan weather service) stressed the crucial role of national meteorological and hydrological services, advocating for effective and sustainable implementation. The event proposed key measures, ranging from advancing forecasting techniques to enhancing the early warning system, incorporating local knowledge, and promoting geolocated mobile early warning services.

After COP28 our attention turns to post-conference strategies that outline the direction of future international climate action. The collective effort dedicated to “Early Warnings for All” at COP28 demonstrates how this initiative can act as a bridge across different scales, nations, regions, and local communities to collectively address meteorological risks and build resilience. Ongoing efforts are needed to realise the objectives of “Early Warnings for All”. This involves sustained collaboration among stakeholders, continuous innovation in meteorological risk management, and incorporating local knowledge for more effective early warning systems. Additionally, fostering global and regional partnerships and mobilising resources will be essential for the initiative’s successful implementation beyond COP28.

Kenza Khomsi is Head of the Air Quality department at the General Directorate of Meteorology, Morocco.


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