More than ever, we need a strong EU Space Programme

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Roma Seselskiene
Roma Seselskiene a signé la pétition

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More than ever, we need a strong EU Space Programme

Over the last two decades, the European Union had built its Space Programme and Copernicus to provide vital information to millions of citizens across the world, to scientists, emergency responders, civil servants, entrepreneurs, climate change researchers, etc. Every single day it helps protect biodiversity in Earth’s most vulnerable areas. It monitors and forecasts air quality globally. It tracks illegal fisheries to reduce overfishing in our seas and oceans. It provides data to better understand climate change, the biggest challenge of our generation, and to tackle its effects. When disasters strike, its maps derived from satellite imagery help emergency responders dealing with forest fires, floods, earthquakes, or hurricanes. It’s there even if you don’t know it yet, with its eyes on Earth watching out for you 24/7, every day of the year.

Right now, Copernicus, the Earth Observation part of the EU Space Programme, could be seriously affected by budget reductions. So, this time we ask you to support the Programme – sign the petition to ensure Copernicus budget, show the EU Institutions that citizens of the European Union and the world care.

We, the initiators and signatories of this petition, are scientists, civil servants, entrepreneurs and citizens who believe in this Programme and its importance for our future.

  • As citizens feeling the impact of changes in weather conditions, of heatwaves and droughts, we understand the necessity for free and open satellite data.As climate scientists, need this data to adapt to climate change, mitigate its consequences, and preserve our environment and wellbeing.
  • As meteorologists, we need to better understand rapidly changing weather patterns and the impacts of severe weather events on citizens and our daily life.
  • As public authorities, regional and local governments, we require satellite data to monitor air quality, manage health crises, plan sustainable and smart cities and territories.
  • As members of Arctic communities, we need observations of the receding sea ice, which destroys our livelihoods and affects wildlife.
  • As entrepreneurs and managers of responsible and sustainable industries, ranging from forestry to transport or oil and gas, and many more, we need to track our impact on the environment in order to preserve the planet.
  • As representatives of the blue economy, we rely on satellites to better protect our oceans and their natural resources.
  • As staff of Environment agencies, and actors working on environmental projects in Europe’s regions and beyond, we need space data to keep an eye on the pressures on our biodiversity and agriculture.
  • As Civil Protection staff, emergency managers and first responders, we need satellite imagery and data to cope with the increase in the frequency and intensity of disasters.
  • As academics and researchers, we require scientifically valid observations to develop accurate information and models about the state of our planet.

We are committed, through our daily work, to find shared solutions for these shared challenges.

Over the past years, we have strongly benefitted from data and information supplied on a full, free and open basis by Copernicus, the European Union’s Earth Observation Programme, which has allowed us to build services and extract information on the state of our environment and our climate. The quality and the amount of data made available by Copernicus is unprecedented and has put Europe, and us, on the map as leaders in environmental and climate observations and models. The services now available, that will continue to be developed, support public authorities at all levels to make sound and data-driven decisions for the future of all our fellow citizens. Such data and information also boost the digital economy. The applications that we use as citizens, and which use space data, help us to manage the environment around us in a better way.

We clearly see the need to maintain this system of environmental and climate observations, through the continuation and appropriate funding of the EU Space Programme, its existing suite of satellites, and the development of new and enhanced observation capacities. Without access to this wealth of high quality, sound, robust information, the ability of the EU and its citizens to tackle the challenges and opportunities stemming from the Paris Agreement, the EU Green Deal or the Digital Europe initiatives will be limited. We also recognise the need for appropriate satellite-based tools to ensure the safety and security of our fellow citizens in the troubled times we are facing, and to future-proof the risk assessment and preparedness for pandemics.

We call on the European Institutions to agree on a solid budget for the EU Space Programme in general, and for ensuring the sustainability and expansion of the Copernicus programme in particular. The immense value of the data supplied by this Programme should not be underestimated. The time is now to make bold investments so that we can continue to help tackle the climate and environmental emergency with accurate and useful data. Have your say – sign the petition and ensure the future of our Space Programme.