World Meteorological Organization


The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is the United Nations’ (UN) specialist agency for meteorology


The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is the United Nations’ (UN) specialist agency for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences. It has 193 member states and territories (July 2023), 30 of which are also EUMETSAT member states.

Last Updated

13 October 2023

Published on

24 April 2023

The WMO is dedicated to international cooperation and coordination on the state and behaviour of the Earth’s atmosphere, its interaction with land and oceans, the weather and climate it produces, and the resulting distribution of water resources.

EUMETSAT contributes to and fulfils several of the WMO’s objectives and activities.

Cooperation between the WMO and EUMETSAT dates back to our origins. The EUMETSAT Convention explicitly mentions the WMO.

In pursuit of our primary objective of establishing, maintaining and operationally exploiting European systems to monitor weather and climate from space, EUMETSAT takes into account, as far as possible, the recommendations made by the WMO.


EUMETSAT’s data policy is aligned with that of the WMO’s Resolution 1 (2021), offering full and non-discriminatory access to as much as possible of our data under documented licensing conditions, while protecting the value of EUMETSAT membership.

Our activities and space-based observations contribute to WMO programmes, in particular, to the WMO global initiatives:

  • Early Warning for All, which aims to ensure that life-saving early warnings about pending hazardous weather, water, or climate events are available to everyone on Earth by the end of 2027; and
  • Global Greenhouse Gas Watch, which is a framework for sustained, internationally coordinated, global greenhouse gas monitoring.

EUMETSAT further contributes to WMO’s regional associations - Europe and Africa in particular - its technical commissions, its climate activities and some programmes related to oceanography.

EUMETSAT holds observer status at WMO Executive Council and Congress meetings, and participates in WMO expert and task teams.

The WMO Space Programme coordinates the activities of its members relating to the space-based observing system component of the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS). This is to ensure sustained and interoperable satellite observations and to promote their usage and utilisation across all WMO programmes, particularly in the weather, climate, and water domains. The overall goal is to achieve maximum benefit from Earth observation satellites for WMO applications.

The programme’s main objectives are:

  • to develop the integrated space-based observing system component of the WMO WIGOS, involving operational (EUMETSAT) and research and development environmental satellites
  • to enhance accessibility of current and next-generation satellite data and products, and respond to user needs
  • to promote data exchange through common standards and the WMO Information System (WIS)
  • to stimulate coordinated data processing with traceable quality
  • to raise awareness of satellite capabilities and promote education, focusing on developing countries, so that members may benefit from these and other technological innovations and
  • to coordinate the establishment and further development of space weather monitoring by improving warnings and preparedness for space weather hazards

The WMO Congress endorsed the WIGOS Vision 2040 in 2019. Vision 2040 addresses WMO members’ weather, climate, water and environmental services’ needs for observations, to provide a solid and well-documented basis for all services in the areas of weather, climate and water. Its main purpose is:

  • to serve as a reference for WMO members and other observing system operators, providing context and expected boundary conditions relevant for observing system developments
  • to inform satellite agencies’ long-term planning about the expected evolution of WMO user requirements and
  • to inform the planning efforts of data users regarding system developments and required computing and communication capabilities

EUMETSAT’s involvement in WMO Space Programme initiatives is broad:

  • EUMETSAT satellites are a component of the WIGOS space segment. EUMETSAT is also involved in training and data provision activities to facilitate the access to and use of EUMETSAT’s satellite data
  • EUMETSAT takes into account WMO requirements reflecting the needs of several of the WMO regional associations
  • EUMETSAT participates in expert and task teams within the WMO and
  • Coordination takes place in multilateral frameworks such as the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS), the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), and the Group on Earth Observation (GEO).

EUMETSAT, as a partner, supports the WMO with the development and implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services. The framework provides a worldwide mechanism for coordinated actions to enhance the quality, quantity and application of climate services.

The framework’s main objective is to “enable better management of the risks of climate variability and change and adaptation to climate change, through the development and incorporation of science-based climate information and prediction into planning, policy and practice on the global, regional and national scale”.

The Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) facilitates the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) need for systematic observations. It regularly assesses the status of global climate observations of the atmosphere, land and oceans and produces guidance for improvements. GCOS expert panels maintain definitions of essential climate variables, which are required to systematically observe the Earth’s changing climate. The observations supported by GCOS contribute to solving challenges in climate research and underpin climate services and adaptation measures.

GCOS was established in 1992 to ensure the observations and information needed to address climate-related issues are obtained and are made available to all who need them. GCOS is cosponsored by the World Meteorological Organization, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations (UN) Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, the UN’s Environment Programme and the International Council for Science.

GCOS significantly contributes to the Global Framework for Climate Services’ (GFCS) observations and monitoring pillar by specifying the needs and requirements of GFCS observations. EUMETSAT is a member of the GCOS Atmospheric Observation Panel.

In support of the GFCS and GCOS, EUMETSAT participates in the Joint Committee on Earth Observations Satellites (CEOS) - Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS) Working Group on Climate. This group’s main tasks are:

  • provision of a structured, comprehensive and accessible view as to what climate data records are currently available from CEOS and CGMS members’ the satellite missions
  • creation of the conditions for delivering further climate data records, including multi-mission records, through best use of available data to fulfil GCOS requirements;
  • optimisation of the planning for future satellite missions and constellations to expand existing and planned climate data records
  • considering the specific importance of greenhouse gas monitoring, as stated in the Conference of the Parties (COP) 21 Paris Agreement, the Joint CEOS-CGMS Working Group on Climate coordinates the activities of CEOS and the CGMS, defining and implementing an integrated global carbon observing system

EUMETSAT chaired this working group from 2017 to 2021 with the support of the CEOS and CGMS agencies.

Please visit this page for more information on EUMETSAT climate monitoring activities.

EUMETSAT also supports capacity-building initiatives in developing countries in order to ensure that regional climate centres have access to climate data records and provides specific training on climate data produced at EUMETSAT and its SAF network.