Front cover of Nature Reviews Earth and Environment

Current and former President collaborate on opinion piece

9 December 2020

The Society’s President David Griggs, FRMetS, and former (now Vice) President David Warrilow OBE, FRMetS, have collaborated with other colleagues to publish an opinion piece in the Nature journal. The article discusses the important role that weather and climate information should play in supporting efforts to meet the UN's sustainable Development Goals.


Article introduction

Owing to a lack of understanding, and data being unavailable, unusable or unsuitable, weather and climate information is currently underutilised in Sustainable Development Goal implementation. Improvements are essential in knowledge brokering, clarifying responsibilities, multi-institutional and multi-stakeholder governance arrangements and research on systemic risks and decisions.

The United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is an ambitious plan for “people, planet and prosperity”, aimed at achieving a sustainable future for all. At its core are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the achievement of which is widely affected by weather and a changing climate. To that end, emphasis has been given to delivering weather and climate services, such as identified through the Global Framework for Climate Services, with information packaged in ways that support timely decision-making.

Yet these approaches tend not to address which decision-making processes need what information, or why they need it. Climate services also tend to be limited to specific situations and SDGs (such as SDG 14, 15) where the need for weather and climate information is clear and obvious. However, it has been demonstrated that weather and climate substantially impinge across all SDGs, for example, flooding in Thailand affecting global computer supply chains for hard disc drives (SDG 8), or droughts affecting food shortages that intersected with social unrest and contributed to the ‘Arab Spring’ in 2010–2011 (SDG 16).

Here, through identifying a continuum of decision-making contexts, we demonstrate how weather and climate services may be tailored to improve decision-making across all the SDGs.


The full article can be read here.


Griggs, D., Stafford-Smith, M., Warrilow, D. et al. Use of weather and climate information essential for SDG implementation. Nat Rev Earth Environ (2020).