The global community is rapidly putting in place measures to protect societies from adverse socioeconomic and environmental impacts caused by extreme weather-, climate- and water-related events, and also to take maximum advantage of any positive benefits of these changes that may exist. However, many projects are being undertaken in isolation, in the absence of mechanisms for alignment of the diverse efforts being made at project level, and without conforming to relevant international standards. This can result in duplication of efforts, which may prove unsustainable or ineffective in the long term. The Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) was established to provide a credible, integrative and unique platform for guiding and supporting activities implemented within climate-sensitive investment areas, notably agriculture, energy, disaster risk reduction, human health and water sectors in support of both climate adaptation and mitigation. As a partnership with broad participation and reach, GFCS serves as a voice for uniting many different parties, complementing the existing programmes and initiatives contributing to climate services, building on existing capacities and potentials, and providing momentum and tangible progress towards this fast-growing field. As such, it directly contributes towards the achievement of global and national goals identified in policy frameworks such as the Paris Agreement adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2015, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030, and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.