India proposes G20 summit satellite mission - GulfToday

India proposes G20 summit satellite mission

Meena Janardhan

Writer/Editor/Consultant. She has over 25 years of experience in the fields of environmental journalism and publishing.

India is proposing the launch of the ‘G20 Satellite Mission for Environment and Climate Observation.

The recent success of India’s historic Chandrayaan-3 landing on the lunar south pole has received international commendation. Following this at the G20 Leaders’ Summit, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the launch of a G20 Satellite Mission in the presence of world leaders such as US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, among others. Prime Minister Modi said the G20 satellite mission would be beneficial for all of humanity just as the data obtained from India’s successful Chandrayaan moon mission.

Addressing the second session of the day at the G20 Leaders summit, PM Modi said, “You are all familiar with the success of India’s Moon Mission, Chandrayaan. The data obtained from it will be beneficial for all of humanity. With the same spirit, India is proposing the launch of the ‘G20 Satellite Mission for Environment and Climate Observation. The climate and weather data obtained from this will be shared with all the countries, especially the countries of the Global South. India invites all G-20 countries to join this initiative.”

The Indian Prime Minister has also called on leaders to work together ahead of the COP28 Summit this December to both reduce their countries’ own carbon emissions and support vulnerable economies to deal with the consequences of climate change.

A Ministry of External Affairs press release highlights Prime Minister Modi’s remarks as he said, “Keeping in mind the challenge of climate change, energy transition is a significant need of the 21st century world. Trillions of dollars are required for an inclusive energy transition. Naturally, developed countries play a very crucial role in this. Along with India, all the countries of the Global South are pleased that developed countries have taken a positive initiative this year, in 2023. Developed countries have expressed their willingness to fulfil their commitment of 100 billion dollars for climate finance for the first time. By adopting the ‘Green Development Pact,’ G-20 has also reaffirmed its commitments to sustainable and green growth.”

“Keeping the environment in mind, discussions on Carbon Credit have been ongoing for decades. Carbon Credit emphasizes what should not be done; it has a negative perspective. As a result, what positive steps should be taken, often do not receive adequate attention. There is a lack of encouragement for positive initiatives. Green Credit shows us the way forward. To promote this positive thinking, I propose that G-20 countries start working on a ‘Green Credit Initiative,” he added.

As reported by the Times of India, India had earlier launched a satellite for the benefit of the benefit of the SAARC countries, popularly called the Saarc Satellite, in 2017 as a part of its ‘neighbourhood first policy’ to provide crucial information on tele-medicine, tele-education, banking and television broadcasting opportunities to its South Asian neighbours. India has also been working with the US on the world’s most sophisticated dual-band NASA-ISRO satellite (NISAR), which once launched, will map the entire globe in 12 days and provide spatially and temporally consistent data for understanding changes in the Earth’s ecosystems, ice mass, vegetation biomass, sea level rise, ground water and natural hazards including earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and landslides.

Another report by highlights that India is taking a significant step in addressing the challenge of climate change with the NISAR satellite. The NISAR mission will provide essential data and insights into the earth’s environment and ecosystems, which can help inform policy decisions and support efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change. One of the key benefits of the NISAR mission is its ability to measure changes in the earth’s surface, including the thickness and movement of glaciers, sea ice, and vegetation. This information can help researchers understand climate change’s impact on the planet and its ecosystems. In addition, by tracking changes in temperature and precipitation, NISAR can help improve understanding of climate patterns and the impact of human activities on the environment. NISAR will also provide essential data on natural hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, and floods. By providing early warning systems and improved hazard mapping, this data can help to save lives and reduce the impact of these events on communities.

An Indian Meteorological Society study states that several global climate models are run using inputs from satellites and ancillary observations. The INSAT and IRS satellites in early 1980s heralded the era of space observations in India.  The IRS satellites are providing observations of parameters such as land use/cover, forest, water bodies and crops.

Meena Janardhan

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