United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)
The 2020 United Nations/Austria Symposium "Space Applications for Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate Action" organized by UNOOSA will take place from 1-3 September. It will discuss how space technologies support climate action.
Climate action is one of the most pressing priorities for action within the Sustainable Development Goals framework. The last 5 years were the hottest on record and 14 of the 15 hottest years have occurred since 2000. Average sea levels have risen by 23 cm since 1880 and by 9 cm in the last 25 years. Earth observation is an essential tool to monitor these changes: out of the 50 essential climate change variables, 26 can only be measured from space. Space technologies can contribute significantly to global efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. This becomes evident when mapping contributions of space-based technologies to the SDGs: out of the 169 SDG targets, 65 are reliant on geolocation or Earth observation.
The event aims to showcase concrete climate action cases through demonstrations of applications using space solutions. Users of space applications will present lessons learnt and experts will discuss the role of space applications in climate-related policies. A range of different presentation formats will be used to highlight various aspects of space applications for climate action, including best practices and live demonstrations of solutions and services available for developing countries.
In this context, the following topics will be addressed during the symposium:
- Disaster management and emergency response
- Water management
- Reduction of emissions by optimising transport networks
- Health and epidemics
- Energy, including reduction of emissions caused by energy production and transport
- Urban planning and flood prevention
- Climate migration
- Incorporating space-based technologies, applications and tools in climate policies at the local, national, regional, international level (cf Target 13.2 to integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning)
- Climate change monitoring
- General principles of international environmental law and space activities
The UN/Austria Symposia series has provided a forum for discussion between the different stakeholder groups of the wider space community, including the diplomatic community, statisticians, the private sector and academia, as well as UN entities. The main purpose of the Symposia remains to enable discussions on the use of space tools and applications, on capacity-building and to support policymaking.