UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres confirmed at the climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh that there would be a global warning system for climate disasters.

This so-called early warning system ensures that far fewer people die and that material damage is much smaller in the event of climate disasters. Unfortunately, half of the world’s population still does not have access to such a system.

The plan will be rolled out in consultation with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction or UNDRR.

There will be a special advisory council which will assist countries with advice and assistance. For example, a warning 24 hours in advance could limit the damage by 30 percent. However, half of the world does not yet have such a system, especially the poorer countries. As a result, there are 8 times more deaths than in countries with such a warning system for climate disasters.

Guterres made another comparison: “The populations in Africa, southern Asia and Latin America and the inhabitants of small island states are 15 times more likely to die from a climate catastrophe.” However, by warning them in time, that number can drop drastically.

The system should be rolled out within five years. The budget is provisionally set at $3.1 billion. However, that money will be “very well spent”, according to the UN.

Better information about weather and climate can also help in other areas, such as food supply: “Many more people need to have access to it. They also need to be much better informed about food prices and the weather, even if it’s just a simple text message.”

The WMO states you or voice message to inform farmers about the best time to sow, plant, water or fertilize”. So-called smart farming could potentially reduce the likelihood of food insecurity by 30 percentage points.

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