EMS2021 – additional focus

Since 2021, authors of the EMS Annual Meetings are invited within the abstract submission to indicate to which of the SDGs their work is relevant. The SDG topic was proposed for the EMS2021, and the Spanish hosts of the EMS2024 who had proposed this topic, plan to provide an analysis of the relevance of SDGs over the four-year period at the conference in Barcelona in September 2024. A short summary of findings from the EMS2021 analysis is provided below.

  • For the 470 contributions analysed, 339 researchers (72.5%) reported that their work is closely linked to at least one SDG.
  • 84% of these authors have reported links to SDG 13 “Climate Action” , followed by SDG 11 “Sustainable cities and communities” (36%) and SDG 8 “Good health and well-being” (27%). (multiple SDG selection was possible).
  • “Education & training” (ES3) stands out as the sub-Programme Stream with 100% of contributions related to any SDG, especially to SDG 4 “Quality education”.
  • Almost all contributions to “Bringing benefits to society” (sub-Programme Stream ES1) have indicated that his research is closely related to some SDG (45 out of 47 abstracts).
  • SDG 7 “Affordable and clean energy” receives special attention in the OSA2 sub-Programme Stream, devoted to “Applications of meteorology”.
  • SDG17 “Partnership for goals” is mostly present in works assigned to the session ES1.1 “Developing the weather services value chain to serve society better”.
  • Only 11 researchers reported that their work can be linked to SDG 5 “Gender equality”. Something to keep in mind for future conferences.
  • The sub-Programme Stream UP1 “Atmospheric processes and extreme weather” is the one with less contributions assigned to any SDG, only 13 of 99.

Weather and climate research and services for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals: a decade left for action

In 2015, the United Nations (UN) launched the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the main goal being to end poverty and set the world on a path to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. To achieve these objectives, 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were identified. However, the Sustainable Development Goals Report published in 2020 alerted us that progress remains uneven and that the planet is not on track to meet the Goals by 2030.

The European meteorological and climatological community can play a significant role in promoting the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. Thus, the EMS 2021 Annual Meeting aims to be a platform to show and debate synergies and co-benefits of a coherent implementation of climate action and sustainable development objectives across all levels and sectors. More specifically, the following SDGs provide domains wherein weather and climate research and services may contribute to succeeding in their accomplishment.

Obviously, the most relevant SDG for the EMS community is SDG 13, which refers to the leading role Climate Action has in the domain of negotiating international climate policy. Mitigation and adaptation play a central role in combating climate change. All research and services devoted to strengthening resilience and adaptive capacity, awareness raising and capacity, as well as disaster reduction are embedded in this overall Goal.

Clean water and sanitation (SDG 6). Climate change mitigation and adaptation intersects closely with many themes of this Goal: water supply and use, security, efficiency, and recycling. Improved seasonal or decadal forecast, hydroclimate processes, and high-resolution precipitation data and monitoring systems would play a significant role. In addition, water solutions will strongly impact Good Health and Well-being (SDG 3) through linkages between climatic conditions, food production, and infectious disease transmission.

Inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities (SDG 11). Cities are the heart of today’s economic, environmental, and social challenges: more than 70% of European citizens live in urban areas. The use of urban climate knowledge and future climate projection information in urban planning is essential for achieving more resilient and sustainable cities. This is also linked to Affordable and clean energy (SDG 7), which has a central role in national climate plans and requires services in energy meteorology, climate applications of satellite data, and providing high-quality wind and radiation data.

Quality education and gender equality (SDG 4 and 5). Education and training are essential elements of the global response to climate change but are not gender neutral. Raising awareness of climate change, strengthened climate science, integration of climate change into curricula, and raising women’s empowerment at all levels are among the ways to be implemented to achieve this Goal.

Most other SDGs also have relevance for the meteorological community as there are clear cross-correlations between land use, infrastructure safety, economic development, and poverty with weather hazards and climate changes, as well as with the potential to monitor, forecast, and understand the Earth system.

The 2021 EMS Annual Meeting will put a special focus on these connections between weather, climate, and SDGs by addressing the various ways to better understand, monitor, forecast, mitigate, and adapt to ongoing changes. As a consequence, cross-disciplinary approaches will be warmly welcome.

The Sustainable Development Goals icons and colour wheel are used as per SDG guidelines.

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