Copernicus at COP27

 Copernicus at COP27

World leaders gather in the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh at the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) this week to reaffirm their commitment to accelerated climate action. The Copernicus services, and in particular the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) and the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) will be present, highlighting how the Copernicus programme contributes to climate mitigation and adaptation efforts and supports policy-making based on quality-assured Earth observation data and science.

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Key role for ECMWF

The Copernicus Services implemented by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) on behalf of the EU, is making a wide-ranging contribution to COP27).

In its role as entrusted entity for the Copernicus Climate Change (C3S) and Atmosphere Monitoring (CAMS) Services, ECMWF is organising several side events highlighting the wealth of Earth observation data provided by CAMS and C3S and its applications.

As a globally-recognised European provider of trusted and authoritative climate and atmospheric data through the Copernicus programme, ECMWF’s presence at COP underlines the strategic role that the institution plays in supporting the development and monitoring of European climate policy.

Lead scientists from both services will discuss the Copernicus contribution to the CO2 Monitoring and Verification Support Capacity and collaboration between the services and the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) with a focus on health and cultural heritage preservation.

UN Secretary General António Guterres at the COP27 opening ceremony (photo: UN Climate Change)

Copernicus Atmospheric and Climate Services at COP27

At a session entitled Copernicus: data-driven solutions for decision making and action, to be held on 10 November, C3S Director Carlo Buontempo and CAMS Deputy Director Richard Engelen will join other Copernicus Service panellists for a deep dive into the real-life Copernicus-enabled applications and tools that support climate policy and action. This session will focus on what is already being done with Copernicus’ free and open Earth observation (EO) data and applications in the context of climate adaptation and mitigation planning, particularly in Africa, with a view to inspiring others to use or build upon these resources.

The directors will also lead a second discussion on 10 November, on Supporting nations – the global stocktake and CO2 monitoring and verification. This session will explore how the CO2 Monitoring and Verification Support Capacity (CO2MVS) will enable users to precisely pinpoint which component of emissions result from human activity, helping them to formulate climate action plans and meet their reporting obligations under the Paris Agreement. The two sessions on 10 November are organised jointly with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space (DG DEFIS).

A day earlier, on 9 November, at an Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) side event on Systematic observation of GHG, CAMS Deputy Director Richard Engelen will also be talking about how CO2MVS supports the Global Stocktake, so you have two opportunities to learn about this game-changing capacity.

Copernicus in the Mediterranean

At the end of 2021, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) partnered with the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) with a view to maximising uptake of C3S and CAMS data to support Mediterranean countries and regional stakeholders in addressing the challenges posed by climate change in the region. These challenges, and the value of EO data in addressing them, will be the focus of two panel discussions at COP27.

On 8 November, at the first of these sessions on Cultural Heritage and Climate Risk, C3S Director Carlo Buontempo will join UfM Senior Deputy Secretary General Grammenos Mastrojeni and other panellists to discuss the value of EO data in addressing some of the specific climate challenges faced by the Mediterranean region, with particular focus on the risk to cultural heritage from sea-level rise. There will also be a media briefing with UfM on 8 November. For the exact times of these and other sessions, check the COP27 event page.

The second joint session with the UfM, which will take place on 11 November, will look at Health and Climate Risk and will present the likely health-related climate challenges in the Mediterranean region – from heat stress and air quality to disease, a new application in the climate data store, and how Copernicus data can support health-related decision making.

Financing climate action

ECMWF and the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed an agreement last November to create a framework for cooperation on the enhanced use of Copernicus EO data to support EIB activities as the EU´s Climate Bank. At a COP27 side event on 9 November, the Copernicus services will join with EIB to discuss how Copernicus data can support investment in climate adaptation, particularly in Africa.

COP27 events page

ECMWF have prepared a COP27 event page with comprehensive information on the C3S and CAMS presence at the Conference. This will be regularly updated with information on the event schedule and speakers and also contains useful resources, including materials for the media, case studies and background information.

Remco Timmermans

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