Co-organized by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), GLIS 2016 offered governments, space agencies, industry and entrepreneurs a high-level forum to discuss, analyse and share their experiences on the impact of space policies, technologies and applications on citizens’ daily lives.
Incoming IAF President and CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall looked back at the successes of last year, in particular the historic agreement achieved on 12 December in Paris at the COP21 that put space at the centre of efforts to curb global warming. He underlined how the New Delhi Declaration has translated the commitment of the world’s space agencies to take action in support of the political decisions reached in the Paris Agreement. More than 60 nations within the world space community have signed up to work together to establish an international, independent system for estimating and curbing global greenhouse gas emissions based on accepted data. He also pointed to the key role that France and Europe are playing in this effort and the importance of cooperation on numerous projects such as IASI-NG with Eumetsat, SMOS and Biomass with ESA, MERLIN with DLR, MicroCarb and Sentinel for the Copernicus programme, as well as international partnership projects.
At the plenary opening session, Jean-Yves Le Gall spoke about the paradigm shift that has transformed the space sector in recent years and the coming of a new era under the moniker of NewSpace, perhaps better described as SmartSpace to highlight the fact that space systems are getting smarter, smaller, more modular and more flexible. In his view, this new model breaks down the barriers between space systems and NBIC technologies, while nurturing new applications and reducing up-mass. Making the connection between all of these issues and climate, he then stressed how satellites will be called upon to play an ever-increasing role in monitoring emissions. He also touched on the prospects for developing new Internet connectivity services and the advent of 5G.
Jean-Yves Le Gall concluded his speech with an invitation to the special session to review progress on the New Delhi Declaration that will be organized at the next IAF Congress on Tuesday 27 September in Guadalajara, Mexico.