11:54 AM

Universities Space Research Association’s Delegation Attends the COP27 Conference in Egypt

Washington DC—December  20, 2022. A delegation from Universities Space Research Association attended the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt from November 6-18, 2022. The Conference of Parties (COP) is the decision making body responsible for implementing the global climate convention, known as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). At COP meetings, signatory governments (Parties) discuss how to address climate changes.  The collective effort will be evaluated every 5 years from 2023, known as Global Stocktake (GST).   

Image of Dr. Tom Oda at COP 27

Dr. Tom Oda (right) at COP 27

USRA has been admitted as an observer NGO since 2021. USRA sent its very first COP delegation to the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) held in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, led by Dr. Tomohiro Oda, Senior Scientist at the Earth from Space Institute (EfSI). Dr. Oda moderated a COP26 seminar event hosted by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment at the Japan Pavilion, and participated in the critical discussion of supporting GST through carbon science [see https://cbmjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13021-022-00211-z].  

Following the success at last year’s COP26, Dr. Oda led this year’s USRA delegation to COP27. As an observer NGO, USRA continues monitoring the impactful discussions at COP27 and assure the transparency. This year’s USRA COP27 delegation included David Bell (RIACS), Dr. Annmarie Eldering (President, Eldering consulting; NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, retired), and Professor George Hurtt (University of Maryland, College Park). Dr. Eldering and Prof. Hurtt delivered an invited talk at the USRA-NIES side event. 

This year USRA co-hosted a side event titled “New Generation of Greenhouse Gas Remote Sensing Satellites for Contribution to the Paris Agreement” with Japan’s National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) on 12th of November, 2022. The USRA-NIES side event was selected by UNFCCC among many proposed events to host leaders of carbon research for discussing the use of Earth Observations (EO) in support of climate mitigation actions. “Our side event addressed the most timely and relevant topic in this implementation COP - Earth observations for actions”, said Dr. Oda.  In response to the urgent need for implementation and actions, the USRA-NIES event further discussed the use of EO for generating actionable, application ready information for countries and subnational actors to reach our Paris Agreement goal.   

Recently, the satellite measurements have been increasingly gathering attentions for its monitoring capability of emissions from individual sources.  “This was a valuable side event where we shared demonstrated achievements quantifying power plants and other plumes with satellite data as well as the potential of future missions”, said Dr. Eldering.  Dr. Eldering shared the lessons and future perspectives from the NASA Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3 mission, NASA airborne campaigns, and the new EMIT (Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation) Mission. 

“It was an honor to participate in COP27 and share progress from the NASA Carbon Monitoring System”, said Prof. Hurtt.  Prof. Hurtt shared a wide range of satellite-based actionable application ready products. “Remote sensing has enormous potential to inform GHG monitoring, and when coupled with end-to-end engagement with stakeholders, can offer maximum relevance and actionable information for climate/climate mitigation”, Prof. Hurtt added.

“I was also proud to see many more contributions from USRA at COP27”, Dr. Oda said. Dr. Oda was invited to a Japan Pavilion event, and he shared his recent developments in his Open-source Data Inventory for Anthropogenic CO2 (ODIAC) emission modeling project.  Also, NASA’s atmospheric CO2 simulation, which was visualized by the Scientific Visualization Studio (SVS) team led by Ms. Helen-Nikole (Eleni) Kostis, Senior Multi media Specialist/Visualizer at EfSI, was presented multiple times at COP27, including at NASA’s Hyperwall presentations and also in former Vice President Al Gore’s talk.  Through cooperation with our sponsors and collaborators, USRA continues contributing to the science-based climate mitigation actions and the implementation of GST.