World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

Geneva, Switzerland

Focal Point: Angiolo Rolli


Key figures: Greenhouse gas emissions


Key figures: Waste




The vision of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is to provide world leadership in expertise and international cooperation in weather, climate, hydrology and water resources and related environmental issues and thereby contribute to the safety and well-being of people throughout the world and to the economic benefit of all nations.


Experience so far


A conference emissions model highlighted is being used to show the relative total emissions for the regional meetings of WMO. It is expected that this will demonstrate conference methodologies and infrastructures that could be adopted to reduce CO2 emissions. However, caution must be exercised when considering optimum locations, as this might political repercussions. National offsetting policies should be harmonized with international organizations policy with regard to use of assessed contributions.


Reduction efforts

  • Sustainable building design to minimize impact on the environment and the climate through the use of modern as well as traditional. In theory, the WMO building was capable of a 60% reduction in CO2 emissions compared with a mature building of comparable size and function. Initially operating at 40% reduction in emissions, progressive measures were taken over succeeding years, and this lower theoretical limit has now nearly been achieved in practice
  • Increased use of remote translation for WMO conferences via the internet
  • Replacement of paper by distribution of documents, publications, etc. in electronic formats, with a corresponding reduction on CO2 emissions
  • Collection and recycling of paper, old computers, printer toners and batteries
  • Increased use of tele- and video-conferencing
  • A model has been developed to compute the CO2 emissions for international conferences with participants from across the globe. This model is being introduced in practice to enable “minimum emissions” criteria for selection meeting venue



For the current financial period 2008-2011 WMO governing body did not authorize use of regular budget resources to purchase carbon offsets. This issue will be revisited by the Congress on the basis of climate climate-friendly operations concept (referred under item 5 above), progress achieved in reduction of emissions, subsequent footprint trend and financial implications for offsetting. WMO started the practice of green (climate-neutral) meetings sponsored with extra-budgetary resources, such as World Climate Conference-3 attended by about 2500 participants. WMO staff are being encouraged to offset their travel on an individual basis.


Next steps


The WMO approach is consistent with the CEB statement “Moving towards a climate-neutral United Nations” and the “Strategy for a climate-neutral United Nations” developed by the EMG.

With the mandate from its Executive Council, WMO is developing a climate-friendly operations concept including greenhouse gas emissions inventory, baseline analysis, and targets and measures for reduction of carbon emissions, which should achieve the appropriate balance between targets and associated resource requirements to ensure that priority services to Members are not disadvantaged.

The WMO continues to pursue efforts to modernize business practices to reduce carbon emissions deriving from WMO Secretariat operations, particularly through increased use of tele- and videoconferencing and consolidating meetings, to the extent possible within the current programme and budget.

The WMO raises awareness, promotes and advocates for climate-friendly practices among the staff, National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, meteorological and hydrological communities, and the general public.

Both Members and Staff Associations collaborate on that initiative. In the future WMO will further improve energy effciency of the building, advocate for green procurement, introduce greed office/workshop practices, and optimise travel. Many initiatives are put forward by the staff associations.

WMO and the environment

WMO case studies