Earth observations contribute to first Global Stocktake technical dialogue

Blog / June 3, 2022

Representatives from the GEO community are joining the Bonn Climate Change Conference from 6 to 16 June to contribute to the 2022-2023 technical dialogue of the Global Stocktake, a mechanism set up to review progress towards the Paris Agreement goals. 

The Global Stocktake will take place every five years to assess collective progress towards long-term goals for mitigation, adaptation, and means of implementation, and to provide Parties with important data to update and improve their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

The first Global Stocktake will culminate at the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) in 2023. The technical dialogue is an important step towards that milestone. It will enable Parties, experts, and other non-Party stakeholders to develop a shared understanding on the information received from multiple sources. 

Earth observations can play a critical role in the Global Stocktake, underpinning climate science and services with greenhouse gas (GHG) data, harmonized Earth observation datasets to facilitate adaptation planning, and global adaptation indicators, among other contributions. 

Ahead of the Bonn Conference, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat has prepared several thematic synthesis reports. These include inputs from the Ad Hoc Coordination Group for the Systematic Observation Community's Contribution to the Global Stocktake, which represent organizations from across the systematic observation community, including GEO, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), and the European programme Copernicus.

The group’s submission The Role of Systematic Earth Observations in the Global Stocktake focuses on current capabilities and near-term plans for data products and services that represent the best available science to support the Paris Agreement goals. 

The submission: 

  • Identifies datasets from high-resolution space-based observations of the Earth's surface that can be used to facilitate the development and validation of bottom-up GHG inventories.  
  • Emphasizes the role of systematic observations and modelling of weather, climate, and the biosphere in predicting and adapting to the adverse effects of climate change, which promotes climate resilience and the capacity for sustainable development.  
  • Promotes the role of systematic monitoring in improving developing countries' access to climate finance.  
  • Shows how the systematic observations community has been working 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.  
  • Highlights several capacity building initiatives, both for adaptation and mitigation, including support for local data processing, forecast, climate risk, early warnings and advisories; capacity building to encourage the use of space-based data for national GHG reporting; as well as collaborations with National GHG Inventory teams and experts in the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sector.  
  • Describes how systematic observations support Parties in developing their NDCs and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and contribute to Monitoring and Verification Support for GHGs.  

Several other members of the GEO community have submitted reports to the first GST of the Paris Agreement. All submissions can be accessed via the UNFCCC submission portal

The GEO community also regularly supports the Research and Systematic Observation (RSO) negotiations under the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), which will resume at the June session in Bonn. The Earth Information Day, held on 3 November 2021 during COP26 in Glasgow, UK, as a mandated event under the SBSTA, saw the participation of numerous representatives of the GEO community with presentations and posters. Key messages are included in the Earth Information Day 2021 Summary Report. They highlight the importance of Earth observation to understand and provide solutions to climate change. At COP26, GEO was acknowledged in the conclusions of the RSO technical negotiations for the first time since 2007, thanks to the support of Parties. RSO conclusions speak to the value of partnerships, biosphere observations, and Earth observation-related products, indicators and applications, representing a step towards an invite from the UNFCCC to GEO to deliver its mandate.



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