For information only – not an official document

21 March 2024

The Secretary-General

Message for the World Meteorological Day

23 March 2024

Our climate is collapsing. The signs have never been clearer. The latest State of the Global Climate report showed climate records being shattered across the board. 2023 saw record heat, record sea levels, record ocean surface temperatures, and Antarctic sea ice at record lows. Fires, floods and droughts around the world are the result.  Abnormal is the new normal. And the human impact is clear: lives taken, livelihoods lost, economies upended.

Climate chaos threatens every region, country and community on earth. So, all of us must unite at the frontlines of climate action – the theme of this year’s World Meteorological Day – and fight for a better future.

Together we must build a future where we have better adapted to the realities of our changing climate, limiting damage when extreme weather strikes, including by protecting every person on earth with an early-warning system by 2027. We must build a future where developing countries have received climate justice, recognizing that they have done the least to cause the crisis. And we must build a future where we have ended our addiction to fossil fuels and limited the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius, avoiding the very worst of climate chaos.

Governments are critical. The G20 – the biggest emitters – must lead a global move from fossil fuels to renewables. And developed countries must deliver finance for climate action in developing countries. We need greater action from business and finance – to slash their emissions in line with the 1.5 degree limit, and to stop financing fossil fuel development. And we need citizens around the world to pile pressure on governments and businesses to act.

Meteorologists around the world are also key. I thank them for all their work to advance climate action. And I welcome the Global Greenhouse Gas Watch initiative which will improve our tracking of emissions.

This is the fight of our lives. Let’s unite at the frontline of climate action and build a better future, together.

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