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International cooperation

International cooperation has a long tradition when it comes to weather and climate monitoring. It ensures on the one hand that data are exchanged with other countries, and on the other hand that experience and knowledge is shared on an international scale, thus enabling financial resources to be used as efficiently as possible. MeteoSwiss represents Switzerland's interests in international organisations and coordinates the national implementation of agreements in the area of weather and climate.

The façade of the Palais des Nations in Geneva with flags.
Palais des Nations in Geneva, European headquarters of the UN © UN Photo by Jean Marc Ferré
(c) UN Photo by Jean Marc Ferré

Weather is a large-scale phenomenon. It is therefore necessary to have cross-border cooperation for weather forecasting and warnings. The same goes for climate, which describes the average atmospheric conditions for a particular place or region. It is only when local observations are looked at in a regional or global context, that the reasons for climate variability and change can be understood. In this regard, cooperation between the national meteorological services ensures that the requisite exchange of data, knowledge and technology is maintained. It is estimated that the annual global costs of meteorology are in the region of five billion Swiss francs. On the other hand, the estimated economic benefits amount to between 25 and 50 billion Swiss francs. This added value is achieved partly through the cooperation between the member states of the various international organisations.

MeteoSwiss serving Switzerland

MeteoSwiss works closely with national meteorological services and international organisations in Europe and the rest of the world. Its activities ensure that international meteorological and climate-related data are made accessible. These data are made available to all providers of meteorological services, public institutes, universities, the media, the aviation industry and other branches of industry in Switzerland. 

MeteoSwiss is responsible for representing Switzerland in the following international organisations and interest groups that play a central role in meteorology and climatology:

  • World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)
  • European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT)
  • European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts  (ECMWF)
  • European Meteorological Network (EUMETNET)
  • Economic Interest Grouping of National Meteorological Services of the European Economic Area  (ECOMET)

International Affairs Division

The Department of International Cooperation at MeteoSwiss takes care of strategic and political direction, as well as the internal and external coordination at Federal administration level in terms of the organisation’s international activities. It also plays a role in the implementation of international conventions ratified by Switzerland in the areas of climate and environment. This work involves collaborating with other Swiss institutions (e.g. FOEN, SDC, EMPA, numerous universities etc.) and participating in international programmes such as the

  • Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW)
  • Global Climate Observing System (GCOS)

MeteoSwiss contributes, through these activities, to the development of national and international regulations, and supports their implementation.

MeteoSwiss engages in international projects, supporting developing and emerging countries in the fields of meteorology and climate.

Further information