Earth observations have significant potential to contribute to the Global Stocktake and support national actions to deliver the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement – the international treaty that aims to limit global warming.
That was a key message at a side event during the UNFCCC Bonn Climate Conference, where representatives of the systematic observation community convened earlier this month [8 June] to present highlights from a new report, entitled, ‘The Role of Systematic Earth Observations in the Global Stocktake’.
The Bonn conference lays the groundwork for COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt [November 2022], where nations will be expected to show how they will begin putting the Paris Agreement into practice. Central to assessing this progress is the global stocktake - a mechanism that assesses collective progress towards lower greenhouse gas emissions and moves to adapt to the negative impacts of environmental change.
The stocktaking process will inform nation states how they need to update, and potentially ramp up, planned climate actions or nationally determined contributions (NDCs), to deliver on their Paris Agreement commitments.
The side event (available for viewing on youtube) highlighted current capabilities and near-term plans for space-based and in-situ data products and services that represent the best available science to support the Paris Agreement goals.
The report identifies how systematic observations:
- support Parties in developing NDCs and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs)
- contribute to monitoring and verification support for GHGs
- from space use greenhouse gas measurement and emerging analysis methods to
- track GHG trends
- create budgets of net emissions and removals on local, national and global scales
- can be used to develop and validate of bottom-up national GHG inventories and removals by agriculture, forestry, and other land use (AFOLU)
- help to predict and adapt to the adverse effects of climate change and enhance resilience and sustainable development capacity, when used in combination with modelling
- have a major role in improving developing countries' access to climate finance
- collaborate with global technology providers to enhance access to state-of-the-art cloud services including cloud computing, and building capacity to implement and use Earth observation data systems and applications to enhance adaptive capacity and support sustainable development in the developing world
The report also highlights several capacity building initiatives spanning adaptation and mitigation, including forecasting, climate risk, early warnings and advisories.
Speakers at the side event included F.M. Seifert (ESA), M. Herold (GFZ), S. Sitch (Uni Exeter), S. Venturini (GEO), A. von Bargen (DLR), L. Aragao (INPE).