Thank you to the Nordic Pavillion and the WMO for the invitation to join this event today.

The United States has long been a global leader in earth observations. We know the value of these observations for providing the weather, water, and climate information that allows people and organizations to better understand and predict what is going on in the world around them. As climate impacts like floods, droughts, storms, and heatwaves cause devastation around the world, it is clear we need to do more to provide people with the information they need to protect themselves, their livelihoods, and their communities.

The UN Secretary-General’s call to ensure “Early Warning for All” by 2027, including by building out baseline observations through SOFF come not a moment too soon as we see climate impacts from floods and droughts to storms and warming temperatures causing devastation across the globe. Strengthening observing capabilities is critical for increasing quality local climate data that serves as the foundation for climate-relevant modeling, forecasting, early warnings, and services. The United States is an eager and dedicated partner in this effort. President Biden’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience, PREPARE emphasizes the importance of sustained global observations in providing climate information, which will help us achieve our goal of helping people in developing countries adapt to and manage the impacts of climate change this decade.

Before I conclude, I would like to thank the SOFF Co-chairs and Secretariat for the significant effort they have put into SOFF to date. The United States recently joined the SOFF Steering Committee and greatly appreciated the emphasis that is being placed on filling observation gaps in Africa, LDCs, and SIDS where there is the greatest need. The emphasis on data sharing is also a critical piece for improving forecasts and early warnings.  We were also very glad to see the emphasis on ensuring gender was taken into consideration. Given the disproportionate impacts of climate change on women and girls, as well as the gender imbalance in the scientific field, this is incredibly important to emphasize as SOFF is implemented.

And one more thing…I am excited to forecast that President Biden will have some exciting announcements about U.S. support for the Systematic Observations Financing Facility later this week. I hope that others will join us with similar announcements so we can build a foundation of observations that can be used to provide everyone with the information and tools to make better decisions.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future