GENEVA / WMO WATER RESOURCES

29-Nov-2022 00:02:47
“Today we have 2,3 billion inhabitants of the planet which are suffering from water challenges, and by 2050 we expect to see up to 5 billion people suffering from those,” said Professor Petteri Taalas, WMO’s Secretary-General. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / WMO WATER RESOURCES
TRT: 2:47
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS
DATELINE: 29 NOVEMBER 2022, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, UN Geneva flag alley
2. Wide shot, press room, journalists seated and looking at podium speakers
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO):
“Today we have about 2.3 billion inhabitants of the planet which are suffering from water challenges, and by 2050 we expect to see up to 5 billion people suffering from those.”
4. Close up, hands of journalist taking notes
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO):
“This COP decided to endorse an investment of the 3.1 billion USD for the coming five years to improve the basic observing infrastructure of meteorology and hydrology and also early warning service skills in half of the member countries of WMO.”
6. Med shot, photographer taking photos
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO):
“We had this very severe flooding even here in Europe. In Germany and Belgium, where we had all together almost 300 casualties, which is demonstrating that not even the developed world is protected from such things to happen.”
8. Med shot, staff filming
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO):
“Most dramatic one has been the flooding in Pakistan where we had low-pressure areas moving day by day along the same paths, and that was having major impacts on well-being of the people and economies. Up to one third of the country was in the worst case flooded.”
10. Med shot, speaker panel, Petteri Taalas speaking
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO):
“Then we saw these severe heat waves and drought here in Europe, in China and also in western parts of United States and there was also one hurricane which was hitting both USA and Cuba. And the biggest impact of the hurricane was felt through water. It was very much flooding.”
12. Med shot, speaker panel, Taalas speaking
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO):
“And here in Switzerland, we have just broken less comfortable record in melting of Alpine glaciers. During the past 20 years, we have seen decrease of the Alpine Glacier, but we were hitting the record last summer when we lost 2% of the glacier because of the heat wave.”
14. Med shot, cameras
15. Med shot, speaker
16. Med shot, staff and journalists in the press room
STORYLINE
“Today we have 2,3 billion inhabitants of the planet which are suffering from water challenges, and by 2050 we expect to see up to 5 billion people suffering from those,” said Professor Petteri Taalas, WMO’s Secretary-General.

More than five billion people are expected to face inadequate water access at least once a month per year due to severe climate change, which causes extreme weather events such as flooding and frequent drought.

All are having cascading effects on economies, ecosystems, and all aspects of daily lives.

This is the result of the first report of the State of Global Water Resources in 2021 published by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).


From 2001 to 2018, 74 percent of all natural disasters were water-related, according to UN studies. The report gives an overview of how climate change is reducing river levels and melting glaciers as global temperatures are more than 1,1 °C higher than in pre-industrial times.

The recent UN climate change conference, COP27, urged that governments should integrate water into adaption efforts – the first-time water has been referenced in a COP outcome document.

“This COP decided to endorse an investment of the 3.1 billion USD for the coming five years to improve the basic observing infrastructure of meteorology and hydrology and also early warning service skills in half of the member countries of WMO”, said Professor Taalas.

Last year, all regions suffered devastating water extremes, the report said. Significant flood events were reported with numerous casualties, among others, from China, northern India, and western Europe.

“We had this very severe flooding even here in Europe. In Germany and Belgium, where we had all together almost 300 casualties, which is demonstrating that not even the developed world is protected from such things to happen,” said WMO’s Secretary-General.

He added that the “most dramatic one has been the flooding in Pakistan where we had low-pressure areas moving day by day along the same paths, and that was having major impacts on the well-being of the people and economies. Up to one-third of the country was, in the worst case, flooded.”

The report also shows that large parts of the world were drier than normal in 2021.

“Then we saw these severe heat waves and drought here in Europe, in China, and also in western parts of United States, and there was also one hurricane which was hitting both USA and Cuba,” said Professor Taalas.

“The biggest impact of the hurricane was felt through water. It was very much flooding.”

Drought in the Horn of Africa has led to a devastating food crisis affecting 18 million people. Not even intense rainfall between December 2020 to February 2021, typically the dry season in the region, helped alleviate the situation.

The report said about 1.9 billion people lived in areas where drinking water was supplied by glaciers and snow melt, but these glaciers are melting increasingly fast.

According to Professor Taals, “here in Switzerland, we have just broken less comfortable record in melting of Alpine glaciers. During the past 20 years, we have seen decrease of the Alpine Glacier, but we were hitting the record last summer when we lost 6.2 percent of the glacier because of the heat wave.”

The report said governments must increase their actions in introducing early warning systems for floods and droughts to help reduce the effects of water extremes.
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