Steven Guilbeault

Investing in Climate Risk, Early Warning Systems initiative

eAwaz Local News

Ottawa – Climate change is the biggest threat of our generation and is affecting the frequency, duration and intensity of severe weather events worldwide. Developing countries are especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and increasingly severe weather events. People need information early, so they can take steps to prepare. Early warning systems have proven to save lives and reduce the economic hardship caused by severe weather hazards and conditions.

Canada is committed to taking effective action on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, both at home and abroad. On November 12, 2022, Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, attended the COP27 World Meteorological Organization event, Strengthening Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems in the Caribbean, Pacific, and Southeast Asia, where Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems was discussed. Canada recently renewed its commitment with $10 million in funding over four years to support the improvement of early warning systems in developing countries, particularly the small island developing states.

The Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems initiative was first launched at COP21 in 2015 by the Government of France in response to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. At that time, Canada supported the initiative with an initial commitment of $10 million to the World Meteorological Organization for the project Building Resilience to High-Impact Hydro-Meteorological Events through Strengthening Multi-Hazard Early Warning Systems in Small Island Development States and Southeast Asia.

This six-year project addressed critical issues relating to hydro-meteorological hazards in Southeast Asia, the Pacific, and the Caribbean. The goal was to significantly increase weather and climate services and the capacity to generate and communicate effective, impact-based, multi-hazard, gender-informed early warning systems to protect lives, livelihoods, and assets. Country and regional projects were implemented by the countries with the support of international partners who provided technical assistance and capacity development.

Canada’s funding of Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems has strengthened Early Warning Systems’ capacity in many small island developing states and Southeast Asia. In total, through Canada’s contribution to Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems

  • Thirty-five countries strengthened their capacity related to early warning systems.
  • More than 150 National Meteorological and Hydrological Services staff were trained in a wide range of activities, including impact-based forecasting, severe weather, flash floods, common alerting protocol, regional climate data, and analysis and projections.
  • Fourteen countries developed national strategies and frameworks for weather, water, and climate services.
  • Twelve countries conducted national assessments of multi-hazard early warning systems.
  • Nine countries developed “Met Bills”, plroviding legal mandates for their National Meteorological and Hydrological Services.
  • Three regional and three national impact-based forecasting workshops and training sessions were held.
  • Four community-based Early Warning Systems were developed.
  • National Meteorological and Hydrological Services received assistance to participate in regional and national climate outlook forums in all three geographic areas.

Canada’s support for Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems is part of the country’s $5.3 billion in international climate financing, which aims to support mitigation and adaptation to address climate change. Through its international climate finance, Canada helps developing countries combat climate change while striving to address biodiversity loss around the world. Canada’s efforts particularly help low- and middle-income countries already affected by climate change transition to sustainable, low-carbon, climate-resilient, nature-positive, and inclusive development.

In June 2021, Canada committed to investing $5.3 billion in international climate finance for developing countries over the next five years, doubling its previous contribution of $2.65 billion. This commitment also more than doubled the funding for adaptation to a minimum of forty percent. Over the next five years, Canada will focus its international climate finance on four main thematic areas: clean energy transition and coal phase-out, climate-smart agriculture and food systems, nature-based solutions and biodiversity, and climate governance.