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Introducing the Year of Climate

Lulu Phillips
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This year, the UK is set to host the delayed UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties, otherwise known as COP26. World leaders will meet to discuss climate change policy and the impacts that climate change has had on our planet and will be expected to deliver concrete plans for limiting global warming at 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. This will be the first meeting since the deadlines for reducing emissions and providing climate finance to vulnerable communities set out in the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement have passed.

The Satellite Applications Catapult’s Year of Climate initiative intends to answer the question, “what happens after COP26?”. We are going to explore what needs to happen to ensure that as individuals, as organisations, and as a planet, we are collectively working to solve the greatest challenge humanity will likely ever face. The Year of Climate is intended to outlive itself; we are aiming to create a catalyst for lasting change for the good of our people and our planet.

Through a series of virtual and hybrid events, opinion pieces, explainers, interviews, videos, and podcasts, we will explore the challenges that stand in the way of us reaching our climate goals, the changes that we could make to help meet them, and how space and satellite-enabled technology can help us solve the climate crisis and protect those most vulnerable to the often-devastating negative effects of climate change

From our work on climate change-related projects, such as IPP CommonSensing, we know it is often the case that those who are the least responsible are the most impacted by extreme weather events, such as tropical cyclones, that are exacerbated by, and increase in frequency as a result of global warming.  

It is our intention to address these inequalities by highlighting the lived experiences of people impacted by climate change and use their knowledge to inform and inspire the co-development of the next generation of space-based solutions through improved connectivity and access to vital data about their environment. 

Our activities this year are not just going to be limited to demonstrating the power of satellite-enabled innovation, we will consider our own business practices in the context of the climate crisis, and empower our own staff to adopt climate-friendly practices in their home and working lives, to lead the way in sustainability for the space sector, and ultimately contribute towards a reversal of the climate crisis before it is too late. 

This year is going to be a year of exploration, of learning and discovery, and trying to build a better, more sustainable world. We may not succeed in every endeavour, but most importantly we will take what we have learned during the Year of Climate to inspire new projects, new ways of working, and new innovations to support halting the climate crisis. Every step we take along this path is a step closer to a climate-friendly future. 

Our first virtual event in the Year of Climate series, “The Race to Net Zero: Actionable Steps Towards Innovating for Cleaner Air”, will take place on Thursday 22 July. Register here to book your place.