Resulting from the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference in November, the Glasgow Climate Pact offers the best and final chance to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. However, everyone must step up efforts to deliver on its ambitious — and necessary — commitments. The pact identifies key areas for action on climate change, including adaptation, mitigation, loss and damage, and climate finance, as well as technology transfer and capacity-building.
The space sector is uniquely placed to aid progress across all these areas — especially in driving the adoption of innovative tools to inform climate-based decision-making. Space technologies can also track emission levels as countries move toward their midcentury targets, helping to hold governments and companies to account.
To limit warming to 1.5 C, the world must lower carbon dioxide emissions by 45% by 2030 and data insights must drive action toward significant reductions. Close collaboration with the space sector will be key in enabling scalable, impactful solutions.
This event, hosted by Devex in partnership with the Satellite Applications Catapult, will look at how the space sector can drive forward the key action areas identified at COP 26, as well as accelerate the introduction of new solutions to the increasingly urgent climate crisis.
• Vince Chadwick, Brussels Correspondent, Devex
Fireside chat with Youth Activists
• Brianna Fruean, Samoan member of the Pacific Climate Warriors • Dylan Siliusi Kava, environmental advocate and political activist from Fiji Moderator:• Vince Chadwick, Brussels Correspondent, Devex
Fireside chat with:
• Simonetta Di Pippo, Director, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, and Co-chair of the Global Future Council on Space at the World Economic Forum
• Barbara Ryan, Executive Director, World Geospatial Industry Council
• Lucy Edge, Chief Operating Officer, Satellite Applications Catapult
• Nick Wise, CEO, OceanMind•Leba Gaunavinaka, geographic information systems expert at UNITAR-UNOSAT and embedded with Fiji’s Ministry of EconomyModerator:• Vince Chadwick, Brussels Correspondent, Devex
• Vince Chadwick, Brussels Correspondent, Devex
Vince Chadwick is the Brussels Correspondent for Devex. He covers the EU institutions, member states, and European civil society. A law graduate from Melbourne, Australia, he was social affairs reporter for The Age newspaper, before moving to Europe in 2013. He covered breaking news, the arts and public policy across the continent, including as a reporter and editor at POLITICO Europe.
Simonetta Di Pippo is director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, or UNOOSA, a position which sees her lead the office’s strategic, policy, and programmatic activities and advise the U.N. Secretary-General on space affairs. Prior to joining UNOOSA, she served as director of human spaceflight at the European Space Agency, and previously as director of observation of the universe at the Italian National Space Agency. She is an academician of IAA and has been a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Councils on Space Technologies since 2016 and its co-chair since 2020. She co-founded Women in Aerospace Europe in 2009, and in 2017 became a U.N. International Gender Champion. She holds a master’s degree in astrophysics and space physics from La Sapienza, an honoris causa degree in environmental studies, and an honoris causa degree in of international affairs. Ms. Di Pippo was knighted by the president of the Italian republic in 2006. In 2008, the International Astronomical Union assigned the name "dipippo" to asteroid 21887 in recognition of her efforts in space exploration. She was also featured in a publication HERstory: A Celebration of Leading Women in the United Nations, a tribute to women’s participation in the development of the U.N. Among other awards, she was awarded the Hubert Curien Award in 2018 as the first woman laureate
As CEO of the Satellite Applications Catapult, Lucy is responsible for supporting enterprises across the U.K. in understanding and exploiting the potential of space and satellites to create opportunities and transform businesses. With a background in physics and engineering, Lucy’s career to date has involved the launch of satellites from a few kilograms to a few tons, building a satellite operations center in West Cornwall, and setting up the Disruptive Innovation for Space Capability with the Catapult team. Lucy is vice chair of the board of The Royal Mencap Society, a nonexecutive director on the board of the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership, and chair of a space tech startup. She is an ardent believer in the Catapult vision, “To innovate for a better world, empowered by satellites.” Many see the growing space industry as a potential source of economic growth. Lucy also sees it as a way of improving the future for everyone, and of building connections between people and communities that will transform the way we relate to each other.
Brianna Fruean is a 22-year-old Samoan climate change activist who has been leading community grassroots projects pushing for climate justice for most of her life. At 16, she became the youngest winner of the prestigious Commonwealth Youth Award for her environmental activism. Receiving her commonwealth award from Queen Elizabeth II. Brianna was chosen by the secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme as their first youth ambassador in recognition of her efforts to include young people in the environmental conservation space. Through SPREP she was the youth representative in the Samoan Delegation that followed COP 21 and the Paris Agreement negotiations. In 2017, Brianna attended COP 23 in Germany with the Pacific Climate Warriors. She gave a keynote address for the COP 23 Conference of Youth alongside Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama and UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa. Today, Brianna is a proud climate warrior residing in New Zealand, while studying politics and international relations at the University of Auckland. She sits on the Council of Elders for the Pacific Climate Warriors as the youth representative and continues her efforts to bring young Pacific voices into the climate space.
Leba Gaunavinaka is UNITAR’s technical expert for the CommonSensing Project in Fiji with over 15 years experience in geographic information system and remote sensing applications in natural resource management, land administration, disaster risk reduction, and climate change. A strong advocate in developing Fiji’s geospatial industry, she supports open data initiatives such as OSM Fiji that strengthens local capacities and leverages technologies that help Fiji achieve its sustainable development goals. Leba is also a volunteer with OSMFiji and a board member of the Pacific GIS and Remote Sensing Council.
Dylan Kava is an environmental advocate and political activist from Fiji and Tonga. He has led large-scale political campaigns advocating for social and political justice in Fiji, coordinated Pacific youth activists working on a wide range of social and climate justice issues, and is an advocate for substantive youth engagement and representation in national, regional, and international discourse. Dylan currently serves as the communications lead for the Alliance for Future Generations, a youth network of over 550 members that works to build the capacity of young people in the areas of economic, social, and environmental justice. He also sits on the executive committee of the Uto Ni Yalo Trust — a double-hulled traditional sailing canoe that focuses on traditional voyaging and navigational skills, community work, and the promotion of sustainable sea transportation in Fiji.
Under Barbara Ryan’s leadership, millions of satellite images and other Earth observation data have been made available to the general public at no charge, allowing scientists, planners, and policymakers to make well-informed decisions on problems that transcend political boundaries. Her work addresses critical issues in agriculture, biodiversity, climate change, disaster planning, energy, health, and water. Barbara Ryan’s career began in 1974 when she joined the United States Geological Survey, the nation’s largest natural resource science and civilian mapping agency. She advanced steadily in the USGS, earning master’s degrees in Geography from the University of Denver and in Civil Engineering from Stanford University. As associate director for geography at the USGS, she was responsible for the agency’s remote sensing, geography, and civilian mapping programs, including the Landsat satellites. From 2008 to 2012, she was director of the World Meteorological Organization Space Programme, and from 2012 to 2018, Ryan was the secretariat director of the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations in Geneva, Switzerland. In January 2021, Barbara became the second executive director of the World Geospatial Industry Council, a not-for-profit trade association of private sector companies working in the geospatial and Earth observation ecosystem. Barbara has served as chair of the international Committee on Earth Observation Satellites. She has been awarded an honorary doctorate of science degree from her alma mater, State University of New York at Cortland. She has been named an honorary fellow of the American Geographical Society; in 2017, she was one of 10 global Leaders to be named to the Geospatial World Forum’s Hall of Fame; and in 2019, she was awarded the Department of Interior and NASA’s Pecora Award. She serves on several boards and advisory committees including Azimuth1; Data for Development Insights, or D4DInsights; the Ecological Sequestration Trust; the International Centre for Earth Simulation; the International Symposium for Remote Sensing of Environment; and the Jane Goodall Institute.
Nick Wise is founder and CEO of OceanMind, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans. Using satellites and artificial intelligence, OceanMind powers effective fisheries enforcement and enables more responsible seafood sourcing, increasing compliance and sustainability. Building on this success, OceanMind is now developing AI to detect modern slavery on the oceans, particularly in fisheries, and to detect the desecration of war graves through unauthorized undersea salvage. Nick has been designing large-scale, highly secure software solutions for over 20 years, using innovative techniques focused on market needs. Before joining the ranks of social entrepreneurship, Nick’s journey saw him starting an internet security business, as CTO of a mature small and medium-sized enterprise, and managing product development in a billion-dollar multinational. As a DRK entrepreneur, Nick now empowers people to solve global issues with technology.