C3S is one of six thematic information services provided by the Copernicus Earth Observation Programme of the European Union. Copernicus is an operational programme building on existing research infrastructures and knowledge available in Europe and elsewhere. C3S relies on climate research carried out within the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and responds to user requirements defined by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS). C3S provides an important resource to the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS).

It provides climate data and information on impacts on a range of topics and sectoral areas through the Climate Data Store (CDS). The CDS is designed to enable users to tailor services to more specific public or commercial needs.