Op-ed | Creating sustainable value from space

Outer space is more fundamental to our lives and more under threat than at any time in history. Today, the U.S. government and economy receive enormous benefits from space. Still, the strategies that secured our nation’s leading role in space won’t be enough to sustain that leadership in the coming decades. With the nature of space leadership in transition, the entire U.S. government needs to respond to rising opportunities and challenges in space with a strategic approach that considers the beyond-sky-high stakes.

As the National Space Council prepares to meet this week, job one is to fully apply space technology to address the most compelling issue of our time — human-induced climate change. It’s time for the council to develop a comprehensive space for climate policy that draws on diverse voices and approaches to support recent U.S. commitments, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

The heart of the policy would be gathering information from government, private sector, academia, and international sources, then sharing it promptly and widely to enable novel applications, incentives, and emissions enforcement at home and abroad. Space technology has been central to monitoring, measuring, and modeling climate change for decades. However, the urgent need to limit warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions now requires harnessing space for action. Improved satellite data can drive a multi-layer approach for enforcement of agreed emissions limits on carbon dioxide and methane on a national and global level. Severe warming is already with us, but new investments in space-based sensors — plus harnessing data from civil, commercial, and national security satellites, as well as data from international partners — can help mitigate some of the damage from extreme weather events, fires, and other sources.

Full article available at: spacenews.com