Copernicus: ECMWF signs agreement with the European Commission for next phase of climate and atmosphere monitoring services

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) announces the signing of a Contribution Agreement with the European Commission to continue the next phase of the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) and the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS). The Contribution Agreement was signed on 22 July by Timo Pesonen, European Commission’s Director-General for Defence Industry and Space, and Dr Florence Rabier, Director-General, ECMWF.

The Copernicus component of the EU Space Programme is part of the European Union’s visionary ambition for a sustainable and economically sound future for the benefit of all citizens. In this new phase, the European Union (EU) will secure the future of the ECMWFimplemented services for the next seven years, which will be built upon the success of the previous phase that started back in November 2014. Under the lead of the European Commission and ECMWF, with funding from the EU, both services have become the go-to source for reliable free-to-use data on climate change, atmospheric composition and air quality, and are now ready to undertake new challenges such as the upcoming Anthropogenic CO2 Monitoring and Verification Support capacity, amongst others. Thanks to the agreement, institutions, private companies, academia, media and international organisations across Europe and worldwide will continue to benefit from the quality-assured and freely accessible environmental data provided by the ECMWF-implemented Copernicus services.

The two ECMWF-implemented Copernicus services for Climate Change and Atmosphere Monitoring will be key actors in paving the way towards the achievement of the goals set by the European Green Deal and supporting the EU’s target plan to further reduce net greenhouse emissions by at least 55% until 2030.

A look ahead

The agreement follows the new unified EU Space Programme Regulation that came into effect on May 12, 2021, consolidating Europe’s position as a global player in space. It will entitle ECMWF to continue its important operational role within this context, not only implementing its two Services but also supporting other scientific EU projects.
The next seven years of the ECMWF-led Copernicus operation will enable the development of new products and encourage innovation through further downstream uptake of its freeto-use data by SMEs and start-ups supporting the green and digital transition. In light of the Sustainable Development Goals set out by the United Nations, ECMWF will continue to provide information for world-renowned institutions such as the World Meteorological Organization, the European Environment Agency and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and even enhance their supporting role to help tackle our planet’s major environmental challenges. In addition, the agreement makes sure that the Copernicus services implemented by ECMWF can continue with their critical work in supporting Europe’s climate change and adaptation policies across all relevant sectors – from agriculture to energy.

Built on expertise

Since its inception in 1975, ECMWF has established a worldwide reputation as a leading provider of global numerical weather prediction through its cutting-edge modelling techniques, extensive use of satellite data and its supercomputers, which are among the most powerful in Europe. With the opening of both its new data centre in Bologna, Italy, and its new offices in Bonn, Germany, ECMWF is strengthening its presence in continental Europe, hence enabling new opportunities for collaboration with European partners.

Timo Pesonen, European Commission’s Director-General for Defence Industry and Space said: “The European Union has outlined an ambitious plan with the European Green Deal and programmes like Copernicus and institutions like ECMWF are at the heart of it. That is why we are very happy to continue the collaboration with ECMWF. The data and information products provided by Copernicus do not only help decision-makers make informed choices, they also benefit industries, businesses, academic bodies and all European citizens with the unified goal of creating a sustainable future for everyone.”

Florence Rabier, Director-General of ECMWF, comments: “We are proud to be a key player in the EU’s vision for a sustainable future. The signing of the new Contribution Agreement allows us to continue implementing the Copernicus Climate Change and Atmosphere Monitoring Services for the next seven years. The agreement is a testament to the visionary ambition displayed by the European Commission, the expertise of ECMWF and its facilities, and the talent and dedication of all our staff. It also means the continuation of the hugely successful partnership between ECMWF and the EC. We are looking forward with excitement to Copernicus 2.0 and the next seven years.”

Jean-Noël Thépaut, Director of the Copernicus Services implemented by ECMWF, adds: “The Copernicus programme has achieved an incredible amount in the last seven years. As a service whose role is to monitor and inform through trustworthy data that is free to use, we have been able to support the European Union’s climate change mitigation and adaptation policies across all relevant economic sectors. This includes our planned CO2 Monitoring and Verification Support capacity and offering opportunities for further downstream uptake of data from SMEs exploring innovative ways to support the green transition.”

More information on the signing of the Contribution Agreement, you can find here:

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