Publication: Weather and climate information supporting sustainable development goals

RMet’s current and former Presidents collaborate on opinion piece

The RMetS President David Griggs, FRMetS and former (now Vice) President David Warrilow, OBE, FRMetS, have collaborated with other colleagues to publish an opinion piece in the Nature journal. The article discusses the important role that weather and climate information should play in supporting efforts to meet the UN’s sustainable Development Goals.

Article introduction: Owing to a lack of understanding, and data being unavailable, unusable or unsuitable, weather and climate information is currently underutilised in Sustainable Development Goal implementation. Improvements are essential in knowledge brokering, clarifying responsibilities, multi-institutional and multi-stakeholder governance arrangements and research on systemic risks and decisions.

The United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is an ambitious plan for “people, planet and prosperity”, aimed at achieving a sustainable future for all. At its core are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the achievement of which is widely affected by weather and a changing climate. To that end, emphasis has been given to delivering weather and climate services, such as identified through the Global Framework for Climate Services, with information packaged in ways that support timely decision-making.

Yet these approaches tend not to address which decision-making processes need what information, or why they need it. Climate services also tend to be limited to specific situations and SDGs (such as SDG 14, 15) where the need for weather and climate information is clear and obvious. However, it has been demonstrated that weather and climate substantially impinge across all SDGs, for example, flooding in Thailand affecting global computer supply chains for hard disc drives (SDG 8), or droughts affecting food shortages that intersected with social unrest and contributed to the ‘Arab Spring’ in 2010–2011 (SDG 16).

Here, through identifying a continuum of decision-making contexts, we demonstrate how weather and climate services may be tailored to improve decision-making across all the SDGs.

EMS Annual Meeting 2021

The EMS2021 will also address these important issue. The thematic focus of the conference is Weather and climate research and services for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals: a decade left for action

David Griggs has been invited as a speaker for a strategic lecture on Weather and climate information supporting sustainable development goals.

The full article can be read here.
Griggs, D., Stafford-Smith, M., Warrilow, D. et al. Use of weather and climate information essential for SDG implementation. Nat Rev Earth Environ (2020).


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