The entity will process information on the growing impact of climate change and extreme weather, as well as assess ways to manage and reduce risks, WMO Secretary General Petteri Taalas explained.
Concerning the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, the professor said that in the last 50 years the record of meteorological, climatic and water-related threats has increased by five times.
Economic losses soared, although the good news is that, thanks to improved early warnings and disaster management, the number of deaths just tripled, Taalas said.
‘This year’s devastating floods in Europe and the deadly heat wave in North America showed that both developed and developing countries are at risk’, the Finnish Secretary general said.
But there is a growing resilience gap between rich and poor nations that lack multi-hazard early warning systems, he noted.
We hope the center will strengthen efforts to transform knowledge and scientific tools into actions to support mitigation and adaptation to climate change, with concrete benefits for society, he stated.
This new entity will focus minds on what extreme weather and other dangers mean for daily life on the planet in a predictable future, special representative of UN Secretary General for the Disaster Risk Reduction, Mami Mizutori said.
He added that it will encourage efforts to adapt and cope with that reality, while the goal is to do a much better job of explaining to governments and civil society how extreme weather interacts with other drivers of disaster risk.
Between 1970 and 2019, WMO recorded more than 11,000 disasters linked to weather, climate and water-related hazards, accounting for more than two million deaths and losses worth $ 3.64 billion dollars.
Low and middle-income states underwent a disproportionate amount of these disaster losses, according to the new WMO Atlas of Mortality and Economic Loss of Climate and Water Extremes.
Only half of the 193 WMO members have multi-hazard early warning systems; while in 2020, more than 30 million people were displaced by climate-related disasters.