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 21, 2024

New York – March 21, 2024 – 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

Watch the 2050 forecast delivered by Weather Kids:

The segment warns viewers that rising temperatures will continue to bring more of the catastrophic climate change impacts that we are currently experiencing to people and the global economy. These include a projected impact on 94% of the world’s children, threats to food security and a potential rise in taxpayers’ bills globally of trillions of US Dollars. “Everything is crazy. Schools are closed because it’s too hot. Wildfires are burning whole towns. And floods are making everything wet and gross,” announces one young presenter. 

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.”

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.
This global reach was made possible by a broad coalition of partners, many of whom donated their time and services for this common cause. In addition to our core partners the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and The Weather Channel, the flagship consumer brand of The Weather Company, UNDP would like to thank: Activista; Earth X; Pvblic Foundation, The-Artery, ICCO – the International Communications Consultancy Organization – and SAWA, the Global Cinema Advertising Association and its network of members. In amplifying the campaign's global reach, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) also stands as a strategic partner, with several EBU Members actively participating in Weather Kids. Additionally, Eurovision News is supporting the campaign by aiding in the distribution of its content to broadcasters around the world.
Visit the campaign website at www.weatherkids.org


Notes to Editors and Broadcasters
Broadcast footage: the Weather Kids campaign video, related interviews and media materials can be downloaded here

Additional Quotes  

Michelle Yeoh, actor and UNDP Goodwill Ambassador: "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." 

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, actor and UNDP Goodwill Ambassador: "Climate change is the defining challenge of our time, and I refuse to stand idly by. Through my work with UNDP and projects like 'An Optimist's Guide to the Planet,' I've witnessed firsthand the resilience of communities combating environmental threats. It's time to harness our collective power and protect our planet for generations to come. Our children will be our future weather reporters, climate journalists, emergency workers and medical professionals. UNDP’s Weather Kids campaign shows us the faces of those who will be impacted the most by our climate actions. Solutions already exist that can help us to cut emissions in more than half by 2030, but it’s time to act. Sign the pledge and take meaningful action.”

Connie Britton, actor and UNDP Goodwill Ambassador: These Weather Kids know what’s up! As most of us know we are in the midst of a climate crisis. So let’s join UNDP’s Weather Kids to increase awareness of the impacts of climate change and energize people around the world to take meaningful and urgent climate action. Because our Weather Kids know there’s a future that they and all kids will have to face if our society doesn’t shift, but they also know that together we can harness our collective strength and lead the charge towards a greener, more equitable future!”

Celeste Saulo, Secretary General, WMO: “The climate crisis is THE defining challenge that humanity faces and is closely intertwined with the inequality crisis. The year 2023 was by far the hottest on record, as were the last 9 years. Extreme weather events are increasing, and have huge socio-economic impacts - heatwaves, floods, droughts, wildfires and intense tropical cyclones. Ocean heat and sea level rise are accelerating. Sea ice is melting, and we risk losing glaciers which are so vital for our precious water supplies and ecosystems. Meteorological and hydrological services and scientists worldwide are sounding the Red Alert and are scaling up efforts to deal with the challenge. Our decisions today will shape the future of many generations to come. This campaign is a call to urgent action for the sake of people and the planet.”

Randi Stipes, Chief Marketing Officer for The Weather Company: “At The Weather Company, we are fiercely committed to helping people understand what weather means for them and ultimately to make smarter, more informed decisions – whether that’s planning for the week ahead or leaving our planet in a better place for the next generation. We’re honored to support this UNDP campaign with the WMO to help kids forecast a brighter future.”

Liz Corbin, Deputy Media Director, Head of News, European Broadcasting Union: “As a strategic partner of the Weather Kids campaign, we're proud to support our Members' efforts to provide their audiences with the facts about climate change. By participating in this initiative, we are leveraging the power of Public Service Media to raise awareness of the risks and solutions, through imaginative and engaging content.”

Media contacts: 
for more information on the campaign or to request an interview, please contact:
In the U.S.: dylan.lowthian@undp.org        I    +1 646 673 6350 
                   gabriela.goldman@undp.org   I   +1 917 288 7900
In Geneva: sarah.bel@undp.org                  I   +41 79 934 11 17

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 The Weather Company  

A global leader in weather data, forecasting and insights, The Weather Company provides scalable, proven solutions to help people and businesses around the world make more informed decisions and take action in the face of weather. The world’s most accurate forecaster serves the media, advertising, aviation industries and more, and is trusted by hundreds of millions of monthly active users via digital properties from The Weather Channel (weather.com) and Weather Underground (wunderground.com). Visit weathercompany.com.

About EBU

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is the world’s leading alliance of public service media (PSM). We have 112 member organizations in 56 countries and have an additional 30 Associates in Asia, Africa, Australasia and the Americas. Our Members operate nearly 2,000 television, radio and online channels and services, and offer a wealth of content across other platforms. Together we reach an audience of more than one billion people around the world, broadcasting in 153 languages. We operate Eurovision and Euroradio services. To find out more about the EBU, please go to https://www.ebu.ch/about