The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA ) is organizing for the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) the first High-Level Forum on ‘Space as a driver for socio-economic sustainable development’ to prepare for the UNISPACE+50 conference that will mark the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations conference on the peaceful uses of outer space. The forum is being held from Sunday 20 to Thursday 24 November in Dubai at the invitation of the United Arab Emirates Space Agency (UAESA).
On this occasion, Jean-Yves Le Gall presented the role of satellites in curbing climate change. In particular, he stressed that as well as being the only means of observing 26 out of the 50 essential climate variables identified by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), satellites offer unique advantages for studying and preserving Earth’s climate.
He touched on the new generation of satellites designed to measure greenhouse gas emissions, mentioning CNES’s MicroCarb mission to measure carbon gas, the CNES-DLR MERLIN mission to measure methane, and ocean-observing missions like the CNES-NASA Jason series and the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission.
Jean-Yves Le Gall then talked about the entry into effect on 16 May of the New Delhi Declaration, through which the world’s space agencies are committing to joining forces and combining their efforts to curb climate change. He also referred to the recent COP22 in Marrakesh, dubbed the ‘conference of actions’, at which participants took the opportunity to review progress towards this goal.
CNES’s President concluded by underlining the key role that UNOOSA is playing in the extensive effort to curb climate change and lauded its initiative that will contribute to making UNISPACE+50 a successful event.