IAF holds its Spring Meetings every year in March, in Paris. At this three-day event, the federation’s technical and administrative committees get together to review work progress. It is also on this occasion that its International Programme Committee selects abstracts to be presented at the annual International Astronautical Congress (IAC), which this year will be held in Guadalajara, Mexico, from 26-30 September.
For this first roundtable, IAF chose to look back at the results of the COP21 and their impacts on space activities, as well as the climate solutions that space offers. After a welcome address from IAF President Kiyoshi Higuchi, CNES President and Incoming IAF President Jean-Yves Le Gall retraced the long road travelled from the first meeting of heads of space agencies organized by CNES at the Paris Air Show last June to the signature on 12 December of the historic climate agreement at the COP21 in Paris. He asserted that while space agencies alone cannot provide the solutions to curb climate change, without them no one ever will. Emphasizing the future key role of the MERLIN and MicroCarb satellites in this endeavour, he then underlined the importance of international cooperation and the fact that CNES is the agency working with the most international partners, both in established and fledgling space nations.
Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “I am delighted to be with you here today, after all of your efforts last year to make the COP21 a success and remind the international community just how vital space is in tackling global warming. After the signature of this historic agreement, it is our duty to ensure proper implementation of the solutions approved in December, and this is a battle that we can only win by continuing to work together as we have until now. That is the commitment we must honour today and I have no doubt that it will be quickly materialized through a new text, probably at APRS 2016 in April in New Delhi.”