UN Development Programme Disrupts Global Television Airwaves with Shocking Weather Forecasts from the Future to Mobilize Climate Action Today

The Weather Kids campaign, created in partnership with the World Meteorological Organization and The Weather Channel, calls for urgent climate action for the next generations.

March 22, 2024

March 22, Beijing – 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 actor 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.

As a member of WMO, the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) answered the call and produced 5 localized weather reports, partnering with UNDP China to contribute to this campaign. 5 children aged 7-9 were invited to give their weather forecasts from the year 2050, tailored to the China context. Reporting on extreme weather, sea level rise, drought, floods, and other disasters, the reports describe how such events triggered food crises, biodiversity loss, energy crises, and other consequences.

Through their reporting, the 5 young TV meteorologists call on adults to “stop wasting time and quickly solve the problems”. They even provide actionable climate solutions. For example, they encourage drivers to use more public transportation or choose electric cars; they call for the media sector to increase coverage of climate news; they emphasize the climate benefits of using green material in construction; they call for improvements to food storage systems and highlight the importance of using renewable energy.
Beate Trankmann, UNDP Resident Representative in China says, “With a population of nearly 300 million under the age of 18, climate change and its impact on young people is a critical issue here in China. We are on track for 3 degrees of warming by the end of the century, which would leave vast portions of the world underwater, including Shanghai’s famous Bund and Pudong areas. This campaign is a much needed wake-up call – in order to safeguard the world for future generations, urgent actions must be taken now, before it is too late.”
Zeng Qin, Director-General of CMA Department of International Cooperation says, “Climate change has had far-reaching impacts globally. We must urgently take action to address climate change. Led by the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, CMA has been providing scientific and technological support and services to address climate change, and we are actively participating in global climate governance. We are pleased to join UNDP and WMO’s Weather Kids campaign. On this special day, the World Meteorological Day, these children have made their voices heard in a unique way. We should all act now to create a more livable future for our children.”


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.”

Michelle Yeoh, actor and UNDP Goodwill Ambassador, supporting this initiative, says, "Climate change isn't just a distant threat—it's a present-day reality that's devastating communities worldwide. From my experiences aiding earthquake relief efforts to witnessing the aftermath of natural disasters exacerbated by climate change, I've seen the urgent need for action. It’s vital that we work together to limit warming to 1.5°C, which is why I’m so excited about UNDP’s Weather Kids campaign. While their weather reports are fictional for now, it is crucial for us to take meaningful action to protect the planet for our children and future generations and mitigate the effects of the current climate crisis. I encourage everyone to sign the climate action pledge. Let's stand together, empower vulnerable communities, and drive meaningful change for our planet's future."
Visit the campaign website at https://www.weatherkids.org/
About The Weather Kids campaign:
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 Human Climate Horizons data platform. 

The Weather Kids will air on news channels in more than 80 countries around the world.
The Weather Kids campaign video, related interviews, and media materials can be downloaded here.

About UNDP
UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and the planet. Learn more at undp.org or follow at @UNDP.
About WMO
WMO is the United Nations system's authoritative voice on the state and behaviour of the Earth's atmosphere, its interaction with the land and oceans, the weather and climate it produces and the resulting distribution of water resources.
About CMA
The CMA is responsible for meteorological work throughout the country. It provides meteorological services to the public, works in meteorological disaster prevention and mitigation, and is involved in the development and use of climate resources. CMA provides scientific and technological support to the country’s climate change response, and it leads the country’s liaison with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Media contacts: 
For more information on the campaign or to request an interview, please contact:
Ms. Zhao Yue, Innovation and Communications Officer, UNDP China at yue.zhao@undp.org +86-10-85320797