November 14, 2016

CNES central to the COP22 space agenda Panel session on climate opened by Ségolène Royal, Minister for the Environment, Energy and Maritime Affairs, in charge of international climate relations

Friday 11 November at the COP22 in Marrakesh, being held from 7-18 November, CNES and its Moroccan counterparts organized a panel discussion on space technologies aiding implementation of the COP agreements. Ségolène Royal, Minister for the Environment, Energy and Maritime Affairs, in charge of international climate relations, and Abdellatif Loudiyi, Morocco’s Minister Delegate to the Head of Government for the administration of National Defence, in charge of space affairs, gave the opening speeches.

The COP22, dubbed the ‘conference of actions’, has confirmed the role of space technologies in studying climate and helping to curb climate change. Be it in deriving models for weather forecasting, measuring sea level rise, anticipating climate-induced disasters and aiding relief efforts or gauging greenhouse gas emissions, satellites have long been scientists’ most precious ally. Indeed, out of the 50 essential climate variables identified by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 26 can only be observed from space.

The goal of this panel discussion on space technologies aiding implementation of the COP agreements, organized by CNES, the Royal Centre for Space Studies and Research (CRERS) and the Royal Centre for Remote Sensing (CRTS), was to converge towards the Marrakesh Declaration, intended to translate the vision of the world’s space agencies and international organizations in order to extend coordination between Earth-observing space missions and establish a process for sharing and using their data.

CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall and representatives of emblematic space agencies including ESA (Europe), DLR (Germany), ASI (Italy), UAESA (United Arab Emirates) and UKSA (United Kingdom) took turns to detail ongoing and future programmes designed to collect and analyse data for research into climate change. CRTS Director Driss El Hadani and representatives of other emblematic agencies such as UNOOSA (United Nations), AEM (Mexico), NSC (Norway), EURISY (Europe) and CRERS (Morocco) then talked about bilateral and multilateral cooperation initiatives and building and sharing capabilities to use satellite data in support of efforts to gauge and understand climate change.

Jean-Yves Le Gall concluded the panel discussion by thanking all of the speakers for their contributions and for the key messages they had delivered, “which confirm their commitment and determination to tackle climate change in the 21st century.” He added: “The Marrakesh Declaration, which will naturally feed off our discussions today, will highlight the contributions of the world’s space agencies in support of actions decided at this COP 22, notably in the crucial area of water resource management.”

CNES is also represented at the COP22 in the France Pavilion with its ‘Space for Climate’ interactive exhibition, which notably includes a giant image of Marrakesh acquired specially for the occasion by the Pleiades satellites.

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Contacts
Pascale Bresson    Tél. +33(0)1 44 76 75 39     pascale.bresson@cnes.fr
Julien Watelet         Tél. +33(0)1 44 76 78 37     julien.watelet@cnes.fr