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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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United Nations Development Programme launches ‘Weather Kids’ campaign

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Global television audiences who tune in for their local weather reports today are in for a surprise – a special forecast from the year 2050. While the format is familiar, the forecasts – anchored by children – are not. These young TV meteorologists joined the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for its newly Weather Kids campaign, created in partnership with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and The Weather Channel, the flagship consumer brand of The Weather Company. Supported by global celebrities and UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors, including Oscar-winning Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh, American actor Connie Britton and Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, the campaign is part of UNDP’s efforts to boost awareness on the impacts of climate change and to mobilize people around the world to take meaningful climate action for future generations.

The segment warns viewers that rising temperatures will continue to bring more of the catastrophic climate change impacts that we are currently experiencing to people and the global economy. These include a projected impact on 94% of the world’s children, threats to food security and a potential rise in taxpayers’ bills globally of trillions of US Dollars. “Everything is crazy. Schools are closed because it’s too hot. Wildfires are burning whole towns. And floods are making everything wet and gross,” announces one young presenter.

The forecast ends with a powerful plea from the children: “It’s not just a weather report to us. It is our future.” Viewers are encouraged to sign a pledge to act by making financial decisions that align with sustainability and educating themselves on climate solutions and global climate action. UNDP’s new video series Climate Action Explained, narrated by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, which complements the campaign, highlights some of the concrete solutions that are already happening.

“The Weather Kids add a powerful voice to alert us to a future that will certainly materialize if we do not take meaningful climate action today,” said Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator. “Continued inertia on climate change will lead to an increasingly uninhabitable planet for the ‘kids of today’ and future generations. We can only course-correct if we move at speed and scale now. That includes decarbonizing our economies and advancing access to affordable, clean energy for all; protecting and restoring our natural world; and empowering communities to have their say in their countries’ climate pledges.”

The Weather Kids campaign is part of UNDP’s efforts to inspire public conversation and mobilize action on climate change on the road to the COP30 climate negotiations to be held in Brazil 2025. COP30 will mark the ten-year anniversary of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and is a critical opportunity to get the world on a path aligned with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, as countries submit a new round of climate actions and goals they plan to undertake. These plans – known as ‘Nationally Determined Contributions’ (NDCs) – are at the very heart of the global fight against climate change.

Weather Kids is underpinned by UNDP’s extensive work on climate change and climate action. The newly established UNDP Climate Hub delivers the UN System’s largest portfolio of support on climate action in nearly 150 countries. UNDP’s flagship Climate Promise initiative has supported action to tackle global warming by working with 85% of the world’s developing countries on their NDC submissions.

Designed to emulate weather reports television viewers see every day, the projected forecasts were developed using data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and UNDP’s Climate Horizons data platform.

The Weather Kids will air on news channels in more than 80 countries around the world.

This global reach was made possible by a broad coalition of partners, many of whom donated their time and services for this common cause. In addition to our core partners the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and The Weather Channel, the flagship consumer brand of The Weather Company, UNDP would like to thank: Activista; Earth X; Pvblic Foundation, The Artery, ICCO – the International Communications Consultancy Organization – and SAWA, the Global Cinema Advertising Association and its network of members.

Visit the campaign website at www.undp.weatherkids.org

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