27 October 2009. Today, ESPI co-organised with the Parliamentary Space Committee of the United Kingdom Parliament an event on “Space and Copenhagen” focussing on the contributions of space for dealing with climate change.
Following this year’s EISC Annual Conference (XI. EISC) where Parliamentarians involved in space matters came together to discuss global challenges and space as a problem solver, this joint PSC-ESPI event aimed at exploring new ways for dealing with climate change and at showing new perspectives for the use of satellite applications in this context. It raised awareness for opportunities around the UN Copenhagen Climate Change conference for using satellite applications to achieve international climate change objectives, thereby putting both UK and European attempts into the context of the international ambitions.
Organised by ESPI Project Manager Nina-Louisa Remuß, the event “Space and Copenhagen - The Role of Satellites in Combating Climate Change” (programme here) was held in the premises of the British Parliament and brought together participants in the EISC conference and additional guests from the UK. Co-moderated by the Chairman of the British Parliamentary Space Committee Ian Taylor, MP (later in the meeting replaces by Lord Hunt from the House of Lords) and ESPI’s Director Kai-Uwe Schrogl, four experts presented facts and perspectives for the use of satellite applications in the field of climate change. A panel discussion and a lively debate integrating the audience demonstrated the need to further stress on a political level the benefits satellites can and already do contribute to a successful dealing with climate change.
Results and recommendations from that debate related to the need for a systematic coverage of the Essential Climate Vairable (wherever feasible) by satellites, the successful and financially sustained transfer from pilot projects to operational services, the need for improved standardisation and the need to safeguard the radio-frequency spectrum for climate change related measurements. As another conclusion, it was suggested to make climate change part of missions and programmes of space agencies.
From left: Ian Taylor MBE MP (Chairman of PSC), Shaun Quegan (National Centre for Earth Observation and Professor at the University of Sheffield), Mark Doherty (Head of the Exploitation and Services Division, ESA, Earth Observation Directorate), Nina-Louisa Remuß (ESPI Project Manager and Workshop Organiser), Lesley Jane Smith (Professor of Law, Leuphana University, Lüneburg), Mazlan Othman(Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs), Kai-Uwe Schrogl (ESPI Director) and Lord Hunt (House of Lords)