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ESA Ministers Back Europe’s Sustainable Space Ambitions

ESA Council at Ministerial level at the Space Summit 2023 on 6 November in Seville, Spain.; Credits: ESA

Ibadan, 7 November 2023. – Government ministers representing ESA’s Member States, Associate States and Cooperating States have resolved to strengthen Europe’s space ambitions to better serve European citizens after the ESA Space Summit in Seville. As a result, Europe aims to harness space for a greener future, take decisive steps in exploration, and ensure autonomous access to space while preparing a paradigm shift towards a more competitive next generation of launchers, following decisions taken at the Space Summit.

Josef Aschbacher, ESA Director General, posited that “Space today is far more than space science, robotic and human exploration. Space has become strategic for the prosperity of any nation. Space policy is climate policy, industrial policy and security policy. It is a crucial tool for addressing global challenges. Space has become a topic at the global negotiation table. Europe must actively participate in this conversation.”

Echoing similar sentiments was Anna Christmann, Federal Government Coordinator of German Aerospace Policy, who chaired the ESA Council meeting at the Ministerial level. Christmann opined that “Member States have enabled the first steps towards innovative and competitive approaches that will revolutionize how Europe secures its future access to space as well as its role in exploration.”

The coordinator also added that “a strong agency will help to better use space to deal with climate change, benefiting everyone on Earth”, and looks forward to “continuing along this promising path when the Member States meet for the ESA Council meeting at the Ministerial level in Germany in 2025.”

According to the meeting, ESA has refocused its objective from helping Europe to move from monitoring to managing climate change. Furthermore, ESA will assist Europe in harnessing space to pursue climate action, supporting national and European efforts to become carbon neutral by 2050.

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