Sustainable Development Goal 13 urges to take action to combat climate change and its impacts*. Climate change is now affecting every country on every continent. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives, costing people, communities and countries dearly today and even more tomorrow. People are experiencing the significant impacts of climate change, which include changing weather patterns, rising sea levels, and more extreme weather events. Greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are driving climate change and are continuing to rise. They are now at their highest levels in history. Without action, the world's average surface temperature is projected to rise over the 21st century and is likely to surpass 3ºC this century-with some areas of the world expected to warm even more.
Space technologies play a central role in:
*Acknowledging that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change.
Due to changing weather patterns, sea level is rising, weather events are becoming more extreme and greenhouse gas emissions are at their highest levels in history, affecting livelihoods, causing casualties and disrupting local economies.
In response to climate change challenges, UNOOSA, working with key partners from the Space, Earth Observation, and Civil Protection communities, and regional and international organizations, launched the Global Partnership using Space-based technology applications for disaster risk reduction (GP-STAR). GP-STAR aims to promote the adoption of space-based technology applications, including Earth observation, global navigation satellite systems and satellite telecommunications for Disaster Risk Reduction in accordance with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. By strengthening existing mechanisms and expanding the use of Earth Observation and relevant space-based technologies at all levels, GP-STAR will contribute to a better integrated and wider use of such technologies in Disaster Risk Reduction worldwide.
Following the COP21 Agreement in Paris, the historical summit that brought key global actors including space agencies together to combat climate change, the One Planet Summit facilitated discussion among leaders from the public and private sphere on concrete actions against climate change. In one such initiative, the leaders of several space agencies proposed to set up a Space Climate Observatory (SCO) to boost collaborative work by improving long-term sustainability and accessibility of climate data from satellites and facilitate raising global awareness about climate change.
Since most countries do not currently share climate data gathered by satellites, this agreement seeks to promote free and open data policies as well as satellite data products. The SCO could constitute a strategic contribution to the Space2030 Agenda and provide better opportunities to address the SDGs, enabling worldwide cooperation towards low-emission and resilient societies.
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