Search UKspace

Members Area

The UK hosted the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow from 31 October-12 November 2021, bringing together stakeholders to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

As part of the UK’s commitment to working with all countries and joining forces with civil society, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire climate action, the UK space sector played an active role in the conference.

Under the umbrella of the Space & Geospatial virtual pavilion at COP26, UKspace and many other stakeholders in the UK space sector participated in a range of initiatives. The virtual pavilion was designed to showcase how the use of space data and location intelligence can help us unlock significant opportunities for businesses and governments to work collaboratively in achieving carbon emission targets and to build solutions across sectors and societal challenges.

During COP26, the pavilion hosted over 30 sessions with a range of experts from government, academia and industry, including former United States Vice President, Al Gore.

On 1 November (10am-12pm), UKspace Chair, Nick Shave, was a panellist discussing ‘Enabling collaborations between the public and private sectors in response to the climate crisis’. The other panellists were Rosalind Goodfellow, Deputy Director of the Geospatial Commission, Denise McKenzie, Chair Association of Geographic Information, and Harshbir Sangha, Director of Growth, UK Space Agency. Dallas Campbell and Suzie Imber will Chair the session.

Space for Survival – curated by UK. 10 November 12:30-14:30

From World Monitoring to Climate Resilience: Predict, Prevent, Prepare & Precover

Session led by Iceye

Life on Earth is constantly changing. The ability to see and track these changes is key to understanding, predicting and responding to events around us. Earth Observation plays a key role in monitoring climate change and its effects on Earth. ICEYE’s constellation of new space satellites unlocks access to valuable data on any location on Earth, day and night, and with a remarkable resolution of 25cm. With events happening at an alarming frequency and severity, the need to monitor changes on Earth seems more current than ever. ICEYE’s ultimate goal is to contribute with its technology and data to be able to use detection and monitoring intelligence with precision, timeliness and accuracy.


  • Rafal Modrzewski, CEO ICEYE
  • Daniel Stander, UN Special Advisor

How space can help support the COP framework

Session led by NPL

As nations are encouraged by the COP framework towards a net zero agenda to address the climate emergency we explore in this panel some of the ways that space can help.  In the near-term the focus is on headline national declarations underpinned in the main by ‘bottom-up’ accounting.  However, whilst this approach will remain a key element as nations start to implement the necessary aggressive reduction and off-setting strategies, more sophisticated and comprehensive data will be needed.  Much of this new data will require trustworthy observations and information enabled from space, both to inform and support action but also to ensure that these actions have the impact intended.  The terrain and infrastructure of many countries make reliable bottom-up assessments particularly challenging whereas access to the anticipated variety and volume of data from space in the next years may transform their information capabilities in common with all nations.  Not only the range of emissions, sinks as well as other mitigation activities such as improved building insulation, but many other contributions and impact can benefit from space observation and agile information processing techniques such as Artificial Intelligence. A space measured benchmark of the state of the planet and its processes replicated in a digital manner through twins and models is required to assess how our the Earth responds to our actions, to ensure we are able to minimise the societal consequences to the emergency and invest in adaptations in a timely manner.

Chair: Prof Nigel Fox – NPL

  • Geoff Busswell –Telespazio
  • Jaime Reed – CGI
  • Anthony Baker – Satellite Vu
  • Peter Anderson – AAC Clyde Space

Space sustainability: safeguarding our orbital environment now and for future generations

Session led by Astroscale

Climate change is escalating out of control and there is a tremendous urgency to act now and do more. But what of the wider orbital environment? As we increasingly rely on satellites to support disaster preparedness and response, GPS tracking, maritime and air temperature measurement, rising sea levels and weather forecasting, and to provide global connectivity, we need to act now and do more to prepare, protect and respond to ensure the safety and security of the space environment. We have the ability to avoid repeating the mistakes we’ve made on earth and build a safer, sustainable space environment for future generations. Now is the time to take action to rapidly slow down the pollution of space by hazardous orbital debris, establish and enforce forward-looking and pro-active international and national level regulations, incentivise best practice through good governance, develop the technology and capability to service and remove defunct satellites, and safeguard against debris collision and threats to our connectivity, data transmission and data security. We need to safeguard our orbital environment now to provide ongoing satellite communications support for climate change action now and for future generations.

Moderator: Harriet Brettle, Head of Business Analysis at Astroscale

  • Joanne Wheeler, MBE – Director at Alden Legal
  • Jacob Geer – Head of Space Surveillance and Tracking at the UK Space Agency
  • Maurizio Vanotti – VP, Space Infrastructure Development & Partnerships at OneWeb

What is space’s role in addressing the issues of climate change?

Session led by Bryce

Climate change is one of the greatest global challenges facing humanity. Achieving net-zero emissions is widely recognized as critical to mitigating some of the worst impacts of climate change. A myriad of solutions exist to improve humanity’s understanding of the evolution of the planet’s climate and overall Earth system science, many helping to measure different climate change indicators. Satellite measurements of air and sea surface temperatures and of sea levels, as well as other space-based observations, reveal important consequences of a warming, changing world. Leveraging these capabilities will help ensure mitigation measures are applied and bring us closer to a net zero future.

Themes to be covered:

  • High level overview of the space economy, trends
  • The net zero challenge
  • The role of space technologies in getting to net zero