News & Events

1 décembre 2023

COP28: ESA Climate Office events

The Climate Office is contributing to several events at COP28, UAE, Dubai

The Climate Office aims to increase the availability and use of global, satellite-based Earth observation data for decision-making. It provides a major contribution to the evidence base through the ESA Climate Change Initiative a major R&D programme focussed on generating global satellite data records for a suite of Essential Climate Variables and is increasingly geared towards supporting implementation of the UNFCCC the Paris Agreement.

Members of the ESA Climate Office are highlighting the role of Earth Observation at several events during the COP28 on the ESA booth in the COP28 Blue Zone and with several of our partners as follows:

2 Dec

From climate science to climate services - ESA ESA pavilion, Blue Zone, Dubai, UAE

Timing: 14:00 UAE local time (UTC+4) Session will last 60 mins.

Location: ESA booth Blue zone, B7 88

Reports from C3S and the IPCC, and the new global greenhouse gas stocktake are essential. This panel looks at the growing importance of regional reports in climate action and policy making.

The year 2023 has seen a few important milestones in climate science and policy. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the final instalment of its 6th Assessment Report – the Synthesis Report - in March 2023. The report re-emphasises the call for action to take measures for adaptation and mitigation and identifies opportunities for both, whilst at the same time warning that current action is not sufficient to limit global warming to even 2 degrees. To determine the current state of the emission reduction under the UNFCCC Paris, 2023 also sees the 1st Global Stocktake (GST), a major focus for this year’s COP28. A particular development under the 6th cycle of the IPCC assessment was the development of the regional atlas, emphasising the importance and necessity of providing local and regional information for climate action. The EC’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) which has the taken on the role to host and evolve the operational running of the regional atlas, providing an essential tool for climate action. This panel session will stress the need and functionality of such a tool in the context of addressing UNFCCC Paris Agreement’s policy and reporting needs.


  • Susanne Mecklenburg, European Space Agency
  • Carlo Buontempo, C3S, European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts  
  • Richard Jones, UK Metoffice 
  • Joanna Post, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization/ Global Ocean Observing System

3 Dec

Earth information Day

Location: Plenary two - al Ghafat

Timing: 10:00h - 17:00h GST (UTC+4)

More information:

Earth Information Day 2023 will provide a dialogue for exchanging information on the state of the global climate system and developments in systematic observation (FCCC/SBSTA/2019/2 para. 58). This high-level opening session moderated by Harry Vreuls, SBSTA Chair include statements from Jim Skea, Chair of the IPCC, Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of the IOC of UNESCO, Simonetta Cheli, Director of EOP at ESA on behalf of CEOS, Christopher Hewitt, Director, Climate Services Branch at WMO, Tahanyat Satti, Ministry of Climate Change, Pakistan, YOUNGO representative, Cecilia Kinuthia-Njenga, Director at UNFCCC.

Panel sessions will provide updates on the state of the climate and the global climate observing system; Observations for Mitigation by Susanne Mecklenburg (Head of ESA Climate Office) and Observations for climate risks and resilience.

Earth Information Day - World Café

Timing: 15:00 to 17:00 (UTC+4)

Location: Meeting Room 36

Format: 12 tables covering various aspects of systematic observation and how stakeholders can improve access and actively engage

Earth Observation to support the Paris Agreement and the IPCC AR7

Timing: 14:00-14:45 UAE local time (UTC+4)

Location: ESA booth Blue zone, B7 88

In its 35-year history, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has supported policy and decision-making by assessing the science related to climate change. Now entering its Seventh Assessment Cycle (AR7), the upcoming IPCC reports aim to inform decisions for the Paris Agreement’s next Global Stocktake (2028). One of the key aspects of the Paris Agreement is the commitment to transparency and accountability in efforts to limit global warming to well below 2ºC above pre-industrial levels, with efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 ºC. Parties are required to regularly report on their greenhouse gas emissions, mitigation efforts, and progress toward their climate goals. Space-based earth observation information has the potential to contribute to achieving the Paris mitigation and adaptation objectives in many ways, including feeding into the Global Stocktake process, as they play a vital role in monitoring climate-related changes, understanding the impacts of climate change, and assessing the effectiveness of mitigation and adaptation measures.

In this session, Professor Jim Skea, Chair of the IPCC, will present on his views on the value that both the IPCC and earth observations bring to policy making, and how earth observations can further strengthen the AR7. There will be opportunity for discussion through a Q&A after the presentation.


Prof. Jim Skea, Imperial College London, IPCC Chair

6 Dec

Tipping Points - why do they matter? ESA with Future Earth & Earth Commission

Timing: 13:00-13:45 Dubai time (UTC+4)

Location: ESA booth Blue zone, B7 88

What are tipping points and why do they matter? This session will highlight the latest scientific reports on tipping points, why they matter, and how Earth observation can contribute to improve understanding. 

This panel discussion, hosted by Sophie Hebden and chaired by Wendy Broadgate of Future Earth will highlight interactions and drivers across tipping points, building on the well-cited McKay et al, 2022 paper in Science, via the Earth Commission. Switzerland is leading calls for an IPCC Special Report on tipping points which is reaching a critical mass and is expected to become a negotiator talking point (Thomas Stocker).  ESA’s workshop with ISSI/Future Earth/WCRP papers arising (submissions to Springer Surveys in Geophysics) outline how EO can contribute (lead authors Gabi Hegerl, Thomas Stocker, Tim Lenton). Upcoming invitation to tender from ESA due Q1 2024, on EO for tipping points research.


  • Johan Rokstrom (Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK))
  • Tim Lenton (Chair in Climate Change and Earth System Science at the University of Exeter)
  • Ricarda Winkelmann (Professor of Climate System Analysis at PIK)
  • Thomas Stocker (Online) (University of Bern)
  • Gabi Hegerl (Online)(Edinburgh, UK)

Transformative Climate Services for decision-makers based on observational data

Timing: 13:45-15:45 local time (16:45- 18:15 UTC+4)

Location: COP28 side event, SE Room 6 and online

Transformative climate services are crucial to leverage efficient climate mitigation actions. By mobilizing available knowledge, resources and skills, accounting for local realities and using actual data from observations, these services provide decision-makers with tools to tackle their climate-related issues. Drawing, amongst others, on their experience in the KADI project, our speakers will share their insights and experiences on co-designing and implementing climate services, showcasing African and European success stories as transferrable references.


  • Clement Albergel, ESA
  • Niina Käyhkö, University of Turku (Finland)
  • Joyce Kimutai, Kenya Meteorological Department (Kenya)
  • Werner Kutsch, ICOS ERIC
  • Joanna Masic, GFDRR, World Bank
  • Zakaria Ngereja, Ardhi University (Tanzania)
  • Tuukka Petäjä, University of Helsinki (Finland)

Cross-checking national GHG inventories from space

Timing: 15:00-16:15 local time (UTC+4)

Location: ESA booth Blue zone, B7 88

The 2015 UNFCCC Paris Agreement (PA) calls for a periodic Global Stocktake (GST) of progress towards meeting its aims, taking place every five years, starting in 2023. At national level, Parties have already pledged nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that state their intention to achieving anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions reductions, and which can be periodically enhanced. GST consists of reporting on (i) progress on achieving the NDCs, (ii) adaptation efforts, and (iii) finance flows supporting developing nations. The intention is to progressively strengthen mitigation commitments, adaptation efforts, and financial flows during each five-year cycle, until the Paris agreement's three objectives, are achieved.

Different approaches can be used to monitor GHG budgets, (i) top-down estimates from atmospheric inversions based on atmospheric GHG measurements from in-situ monitoring networks or satellites with atmospheric transport models, (ii) bottom-up approaches based on process-based or bookkeeping models for natural and anthropogenic fluxes, and (iii) bottom-up approaches used by national GHG inventories (NGHGI) using activity statistics combined with emission factors, or empirical or process-based modelling.

NGHGIs are used to track progress under the PA for climate. Satellite-borne instruments can provide uniquely valuable information on GHG budget in complement to ground-based and airborne measurements. Such measurements can help reduce uncertainties in NGHGI, identify additional emissions reduction opportunities, and provide nations with timely guidance on progress towards their emission reduction strategies and pledges.

This panel gather actors from the research communities and inventory agencies to discuss recent development on the use of satellite Earth Observations to support GHG budget and how they can be used to track progress at global level of the cumulative effect of national mitigation efforts.


  • Clement Albergel ESA (chair0
  • Mike O'Sullivan – Scientist at UEXE, GB
  • Viola Heinrich – Scientist at GFZ, DE [Online]
  • Philippe – Scientist at LSCE, FR [Online]
  • Onoriode Esegbue - Science Lead, Greenhouse Gas Inventory, Department of Energy Security and Net Zero, GB [Online]