Plan ahead to save as many lives as possible.

The UN launched this Wednesday, on the occasion of World Meteorological Day, a particularly ambitious project: to ensure that within five years, every person on Earth is protected by warning systems in the face of meteorological disasters. .

At present, a third of the world's population does not have any means of this type.

A proportion that rises to 60% in Africa.

"This situation is unacceptable," protested Antonio Guterres, the UN secretary general, on Wednesday.

(…) Man-made climate change causes damage in all regions of the world”.

And to add: "Half of humanity is already in the danger zone" and "the frequency and intensity of extreme weather phenomena will increase as global warming increases", he predicts.

He therefore asked the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to lead this effort and present an action plan by the end of the year, at the next United Nations Climate Change Conference. climate in Egypt.

A profitable investment

The hedging plan is expected to cost around $1.5 billion.

Money well invested, according to the international organization, in view of the damage caused by droughts, torrential rains or tornadoes, cyclones and hurricanes.

Wherever they exist, these alert systems are proving their usefulness, to enable the authorities to better prepare relief, to limit damage if necessary, and to enable populations to take shelter.

“Strengthening forecasting capacities means helping everyone to develop their capacity for action,” Guterres stressed.

“Early warning systems save lives.

Let’s make sure all countries benefit from it.”

For Petteri Taalas, who heads the OMM, these systems offer one of the highest returns on investment of all projects to adapt to the upheavals linked to global warming.

According to a press release from the Organization, the number of recorded disasters has multiplied by five between 1970 and 2019, due to climate change, the increased number of extreme weather phenomena but also more effective warning systems.

"Thanks to better warnings, the number of lives lost has been reduced almost threefold over the same period, due to more effective weather forecasting and active and coordinated disaster management," the statement said.

According to some estimates, being warned 24 hours in advance of an approaching storm or heat wave can reduce the damage by almost a third.

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