Observing the Earth, Serving our Societies: Space in the Age of Climate Change

Day: Wednesday 16 October
Time: 13:45 - 14:45 CEST
Location: Auditorium, Level 3, South Wing, MiCo Convention Centre

The objective of this plenary is to discuss the role of space observations and the perspectives offered by exploiting their full potential, which, in the face of escalating effects of climate change, has emerged as a critical component in our collective efforts to monitor, understand, mitigate and adapt to our transforming planet.

National Agencies and international Organisations play a fundamental role in improving the quality and the variety of the available observations as well as in transforming them in actionable information for decision and policy makers. In this scenario, the SCO is an international initiative which aims to support the development of Earth-observation based operational tools for climate adaptation, mitigation and monitoring at local level, at the nearest of the users.

Advancements in satellite technology are offering unprecedented insights into atmospheric dynamics, ocean currents, deforestation, and other critical indicators. Through data assimilation and modelling techniques, these observations constitute an essential element for predictive analyses, enabling the development of early warning systems for natural disasters and other climate-related events as well as the proactive planning of measures to minimize the socio-economic impact of climate change on vulnerable communities. These advancements, together with the undeniable evidence, captured by satellite imagery, of climate change impacts on our planet, are progressively shaping an informed and compelling narrative that resonates with the global population, that is at the core of a global response to climate change.

Panellists will bring their own perspectives to this topic, coming from different geographic areas and sectors and having different places in the Earth Observation value chain: from space agencies focusing on collecting the data to the managers who will use these data to inform local decisions and plans. The session is organized in two panel discussions run by a Moderator: a “Users” Panel, including representatives from: ECMWF, GCOS, Planetek, Municipality of Rome, and a “Providers” Panel, including representatives from Copernicus, CNES, ASI, NOAA.

This Plenary is organized by:

  • Frédéric BRETAR (CNES)
  • Giovanni RUM (ASI)



Head of Sustainable Development, Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES)




Chairman & CEO, Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES)


Simonetta CHELI

Director of Earth Observation Programmes and Head of ESRIN, European Space Agency (ESA)


Florence RABIER

Director General, European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF)

United Kingdom


CEO, Planetek Italia



Italian National Delegate, Full Professor, European Commission Copernicus User Forum, IUSS Pavia


Stephen VOLZ

Assistant Administrator for Satellite and Information Services, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

United States


Director of the Climate Office, Roma Capitale