With concerns over reduced funds for space programs, including the Copernicus Program, in the next budget of the European Commission, a group of individuals and institutions have launched a petition to ask the EU Member States not to decrease the budget, as Copernicus is essential for the future of the fight against Climate Change, pollution, ocean research, disaster management, etc.
“Over the last two decades, the European Union had built its Space Program and Copernicus to provide vital information to millions of citizens across the world, to scientists, emergency responders, civil servants, entrepreneurs, Climate Change researchers, etc. Every single day it helps protect biodiversity in Earth’s most vulnerable areas. It monitors and forecasts air quality globally. It tracks illegal fisheries to reduce overfishing in our seas and oceans. It provides data to better understand Climate Change, the biggest challenge of our generation, and to tackle its effects,” says the petition.
The petition, which has so far over 1,100 signatories in the form of scientists, civil servants, entrepreneurs and citizens, further states that Copernicus, the Earth Observation part of the EU Space Program, could be “seriously affected by budget reductions”. “So, this time we ask you to support the program – sign the petition to ensure Copernicus budget, show the EU Institutions that citizens of the European Union and the world care.”
In January this year, European Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager made an impassioned plea for Europe’s space program to be properly funded. “We have to make sure that money is there to support work on new ideas and new technologies – technologies in space, but also new products or services that make use of satellite data,” the Danish official was quoted as saying, in his keynote speech at the 12th European Space Conference in Brussels.