On Tuesday 24th, October 2023, in Darmstadt, Germany, Lionel SUCHET, Chief Operating Officer (CNES), and Phil EVANS, Director General (EUMETSAT) celebrated the adhesion of the European operational satellite agency for monitoring weather, climate and the environment from space within the Space for Climate Observatory initiative (SCO). This adhesion is part of a long-standing relationship of trust between CNES and EUMETSAT.
On this occasion, a signing ceremony took place in EUMETSAT headquarters, Darmstadt, Germany, where Phil EVANS Director General (EUMETSAT) signed the international Charter on the establishment of the SCO, on the presence of Lionel SUCHET, Chief Operating Officer (CNES). This latest signature brings to 44 the number of entities involved in the SCO.
The signature was preceded by the 12th Steering Committee’s vote in favour of EUMETSAT membership, on October 3rd 2023, with a participation of 25 space agencies and international organisations, in consistency with the rules of procedure and the Charter of the initiative.
The Space for Climate Observatory is an international alliance created under CNES’s initiative in 2017 as a best-effort-based initiative resulting from the One Planet Summit of this same year. Officially launched in 2019, it aims to strengthen international cooperation in efforts to tackle climate change and offer operational downstream space solutions for local decision makers to support resilience and adaptation of vulnerable regions to climate change. In its first four years of existence, the SCO has grown steadily, especially since the introduction of the International Charter on the Establishment of the Space for Climate Observatory on September 1st 2022, which formally sets out its governance. Since the Charter entry into force, CNES has been commissioned to carry out the initiative’s Secretariat. The SCO currently counts 44 signatories, EUMETSAT included, among them space agencies and international organizations, of which 24 member states and three UN agencies (UNEP, UNDP, UNOOSA), which support the emergence of SCO projects. EUMETSAT’s signing of the Charter in October 2023 further strengthens the SCO’s development and expansion.
In this respect, CNES and EUMETSAT declared their mutual intention to collaborate with the ambition to encourage and stimulate the emergence of space applications. This adhesion enables EUMETSAT (i) to be fully involved in the initiative’s decision-making process, (ii) to raise global awareness on the initiatives’ activities according to its members’ needs and bring to light SCO projects that could benefit EUMETSAT’s Member States aiming to leverage their national ecosystem in the Earth observation sector, (iii) to federate and enhance a coordinated approach with Member States related missions.
“EUMETSAT, without engaging the responsibility of its 30 Member States, supports the Space for Climate Observatory initiative and we’re pleased to be among the signatories of its Charter. As an organisation providing states with meteorological imagery and data that are essential for keeping their communities safe and for the benefit of critical sectors of their economies, we’re delighted to be working with our international partners, including CNES, and contributing to cooperation between the various national space agencies and other stakeholders focusing on the practical issues around climate change affecting our societies.” said Phil EVANS, Director General (EUMETSAT).
“Space offers a unique vantage point for observing our planet. Satellite technology enables highly precise measurement of many essential climate variables (ECVs) for understanding and adapting to climate change. By designing advanced methodologies incorporating multiple data sources to generate action scenarios, the SCO intends to become a major decision support tool for preparation, adaptation and resilience to the impacts of climate change on a local scale. EUMETSAT's involvement in the initiative broaden the SCO traditional partnerships, leveraging the deployment of weather and climate monitoring services and enhancing the value of the data produced by EUMETSAT by contributing to the emergence of SCO projects. This adhesion offers new opportunities to broaden the use case of EUMETSAT climate data by developing partnerships between member states. In this respect, EUMETSAT’s membership to the SCO is definitely part of the international expansion of this initiative which is anchored in the landscape of international initiatives.” said Lionel Suchet, CNES’s Chief Operating Officer.