An official delegation from the UAE Space Agency participated in high-level meetings with the international space agencies at the One Planet Summit. The event was hosted in Paris in the presence of French President Emmanuel Macaron and a number of leaders around the world and was held to coincide with the two years anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement.
H.E. Dr Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency took part in the meetings with heads of the space agencies’ to discuss climate monitoring from space. This including areas such as greenhouse gases, water resource management and the use of satellites during natural disasters. The sessions highlighted the need to share more data, to have a more interoperable data model and build long term observation plans.
At the end of the meetings, the space agencies adopted a common declaration called “Paris Declaration towards a Space Climate Observatory” in the presence of the French Minister of Higher Education and scientific research. The UAE Space Agency was one of the agencies that signed the new declaration.
The declaration proposes the creation of a space climate observatory (SCO) based on systematic observation of essential climate variables (ECVs), data validation and intercalibration, a strategic architecture for integration of space and in-situ data and models, and a free and open data policy.
As part of his speech during the meetings, Dr. Al Ahbabi commented: “The UAE has engaged in the fight against climate change and listed this issue amongst its priority targets to maintain the national and international sustainability and growth.”
“The UAE has advanced capabilities to monitor Earth through a set of satellites that will contribute to the world’s supply of data and information. Most notably we have Khalifa Sat, Dubai Sat 1 and 2, satellite monitoring C02 by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center The Dubai Municipality and the Agency’s mini-satellite to measure methane in cooperation with the Masdar Institute. The Agency is also currently conducting an advanced study to launch a mini-satellite to monitor the phenomenon of climate change in cooperation with the French Space Agency CNES,” added Dr. Al Ahbabi.
Dr. Al-Ahbabi highlighted that the Agency’s participation in these meetings supports its mission to exchange experiences and learn about the latest specialized practices in space research. It also plays a role in identifying new relevant technologies and regulatory policies in cooperation with a wide range of international organizations operating within the global space sector.
The Director General also stressed that the UAE is keen to continue to coordinate with various international stakeholders to enhance cooperation within the space sector. This comes as part of the Agency’s strategic objectives to develop national capacities and raise awareness about space, its peaceful uses and its impact on the international community.
French President Emmanuel Macron is hosting the summit with world leaders to mark two years since 195 nations adopted the climate-rescue Paris Agreement, with the focus this time on raising the necessary capital to implement the agreement’s goals.