Tuesday 7 December, at the Ministry for the Ecological Transition, the Space Climate Observatory (SCO) France—the national offshoot of the international initiative to study the impacts of climate change federating 36 space agencies and international organizations—held its first congress in Paris. Representatives from organizations involved in SCO France took this first opportunity to take stock of actions undertaken and reaffirm their commitments to tackling and coping with climate change.
“The Space Climate Observatory is today the only international initiative linking environmental data, satellite data and local actions,” said Barbara Pompili, Minister for the Ecological Transition, opening the congress. “By working together at international level to gauge and monitor climate phenomena from space, we are enhancing our ability to act locally with operational tools tailored to the issues that agencies are dealing with, both here in mainland France and in our overseas territories. For stakeholders on the front line facing the effects of climate change, this kind of reliable and valuable information is essential.”
“If we’re able to take the opportunity of this first annual congress of SCO France to look back at how far we’ve come and share our enthusiasm, it’s thanks to the very practical accomplishments and efforts of all of its members,” said CNES Chairman & CEO Philippe Baptiste in his address to the congress. “SCO France is 36 projects in mainland France, French overseas territories and abroad accredited by a rigorous committee of 25 scientists and experts; more than 110 institutions and 30 firms working within various consortia; and 250 people striving to sustain these initiatives.”
Spanning a broad spectrum of issues like forest cover monitoring, hydrological risk planning or preserving biodiversity, SCO projects aim to combine satellite Earth-observation data with socio-economic data to propose innovative and easily accessible methodologies for citizens, local decision-makers and local authorities alike. In mainland France, French overseas territories and countries with which France is cooperating, each project is built around expertise and populations’ needs to devise solutions—applications, platforms or monitoring tools—that inform decisions to increase climate resilience and set in train public policies geared towards the ecological transition.
At the congress, CNES and ADEME, the French environment and energy agency leading the ecological transition, signed a memorandum of understanding under which ADEME is committed to funding SCO-accredited projects within its domain of expertise starting in 2022. This funding contribution, worth up to €1 million for 2022 and vital for the future of SCO projects, reaffirms the ecological transition as a key priority of government.
Learn more about SCO France at https://www.spaceclimateobservatory.org/fr/sco-france
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