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France, UAE to develop climate change satellite
UAE Space Agency © UAESA

France, UAE to develop climate change satellite

The two countries' space agencies signed an agreement during a visit by French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.

France and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have agreed to develop a joint hyperspectral imaging satellite to support efforts to tackle climate change. The agreement was signed by Jean-Yves Le Gall, president of France's CNES agency, and Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Chairman of the UAE Space Agency (UAESA), during an official visit to the UAE by French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on 10th-11th February.

The agreement is the first concrete result of the agreement signed on 9th November 2017 during French President Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to the UAE, which committed CNES and UAESA to:
• supporting the proposal to create a Space Climate Observatory (SCO) through the Paris Declaration adopted at the One Planet Summit in Paris on 12 December 2017;
• the cooperation on Earth observation between the two nations to increase the role of space missions in tackling climate change;
• encouraging closer exchanges between CNES and UAESA teams to consolidate the results of climate change research from both sides.

Teams from the two countries are scheduled to meet in Toulouse in one month's time to work on defining and planning the new programme.

Le Gall commented: “This new agreement between CNES and UAESA reaffirms our two nations’ desire to move forward together in space. France is a key space player and the United Arab Emirates is among the new space powers now developing new programmes and missions.”

The UAE Space Agency was created in 2014. It signed a strategic partnership agreement with CNES in April 2015.

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