Europe's ambitious global environmental monitoring program will now be able to move into operation thanks to the European Parliament's 2014-2020 budget approval.
Marking a significant political milestone, the multiannual financial framework (MMF) includes the provision of â‚¬3786 million (at 2011 economic conditions) for the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) program, currently being renamed Copernicus. The approval follows difficult negotiations and the subsequent agreement reached last week at the European Council.
Copernicus is set to make a step change in the way we care for the planet by providing reliable, timely and accurate services to manage the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and help respond to crises.
The program's success relies on the provision of robust data, predominately from Earth observation satellites. The European Space Agency (ESA) is developing the series of Sentinel satellites for this purpose, but also draws on data from other space agencies that are contributing to the program. In essence, ESA is responsible for the space component.
Image courtesy of ESA/ATG Medialab.