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Better governing the global commons: climate, biodiversity, oceans, outer space

Net Zero Space

At the occasion of the 4th edition of the Paris Peace Forum, actors from all over the world concerned by the long-term sustainability of outer space have launched the “Net Zero Space” initiative. From satellite operators to launchers, from space agencies to academia and the civil society, all these stakeholders gathered to call to achieving sustainable use of outer space for the benefit of all humankind by 2030 by taking concrete actions so as to tackle the pressing challenge of reducing debris orbiting Earth.

“Net Zero Space” Declaration

Activities in outer space have entered a new era of growth, creating new possibilities for human development and the protection of Earth. However, the amount of orbital debris is increasing dangerously. This trend threatens humanity’s ability to benefit from outer space by increasing the risk of collision for space assets, further affecting the safety and sustainability of space operations, and increasing the cost of access to the most useful orbits.

Article I of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 provides that the exploration and use of outer space are “the province of all [hu]mankind”. The protection of Earth’s orbital environment should be at the center of all space activities in order to guarantee that current and future actors will continue to have access to and use of this domain. It is therefore critical to ensure the sustainable development of both public and private space activities, to protect the integrity of existing and future objects in orbit, and to maintain equitable access to outer space for all. Our common goal is to ensure safe space operations and the long-term sustainability of outer space activities. To do so, we seek to adopt appropriate mitigation and remediation measures in all space operations from the outset, taking into account the distinctive features of the different orbits used for space operations.

We share the conviction that this goal can only be achieved by international and multi-stakeholder cooperation through gathering forces from the private sector, civil society, and academia, as well as public authorities and regulators. All entities operating in orbit, or contributing on Earth to space operations, have a part to play in this task.

On-going scientific research from national and international bodies indicates that collective, concrete steps must be taken to prevent a rapid degradation of Earth’s orbital environment. By launching the “Net Zero Space” initiative, we are calling for a global commitment to achieving sustainable use of outer space for the benefit of all humankind by 2030.  We recommend urgent action from 2021 onwards to rapidly contain and then reduce the ongoing pollution of Earth’s orbital environment:
 
    • by avoiding further generation of hazardous space debris, and
    • by remediating existing hazardous space debris.
 
We are calling on all stakeholders worldwide to join us in supporting the “Net Zero Space” initiative. When announcing their support, all stakeholders will commit to declaring concrete, tangible example(s) of actions they took, or are planning to undertake, in accordance with the scale of their operations and within their means so as to contribute to the “Net Zero Space” goal.

In order to follow up on the progresses made to reach this goal and to keep incentive in this regard, we ask the Paris Peace Forum to host the “Net Zero Space” initiative secretariat, to report annually on the status of the initiative and promote subsequent steps towards the realization of the “Net Zero Space” goal.


List of supporters:

Astroscale
  • Astroscale has pledged to 1/ develop innovative and scalable solutions across the spectrum of on-orbit servicing, and 2/ build the economics and working with government and commercial stakeholders to develop norms, regulations, and incentives that support the responsible use of space. Read the press release here.


Arianespace

CGSTL/Chang Guang Satellite

Clutch Space Systems
  • Clutch Space Systems has pledged to 1/ provide persistent connectivity and location awareness to satellites in low earth orbit for total immediate command and control for supervised autonomy to enable safe and sustainability focused satellite operators and to 2/ provide satellite ground stations with 1% of the carbon footprint of the equivalent traditional system.
 

CNES

EUSST
  • EU SST provides operational space safety services that safeguard space infrastructure, including the European Union flagships Galileo and Copernicus, from the risk of collision and prevent the proliferation of space debris. These services will become available to users beyond Europe in the near future. EU SST has also pledged to work on the development of additional public services to improve space traffic coordination and ensure safe space operations, for instance, supporting space debris mitigation and remediation activities. Read the press release here.


Eutelsat
  • Eutelsat has pledged to implementing a company-specific “Space Debris Mitigation Plan”, an in-house initiative constantly updated since its launch in 2005, ensuring compliance with the strictest standard related to sustainable space operations. With this plan, Eutelsat has achieved a success rate in excess of 95% for deorbiting its spacecraft. The Group has also committed to work closely with the French authorities on updating France’s national space law to take account of the new challenges in space, including debris. Read the press release here.


  Inmarsat

International institute of air and space law
  • The International Institute of Air and Space Law has pledged to educating students and young professionals from around the world about the space law and policy aspects of debris mitigation and remediation, and encouraging and supporting them in their research on these topics. Read the press release here.


ISISPACE
  • ISISPACE has pledged to 1/ develop and using disruptive space technologies for debris mitigation and removal, and 2/ comply with the strictest norms regarding sustainable space operations, including Dutch standard of deorbiting objects sent in outer space 25 years after their launch rather than 25 years after their end of life. Read the press release here.


Planet

Share my Space
  • Share my Space has pledged to 1/ foster independent capacities regarding space debris detection, automated maneuvers technologies and autonomous satellite navigation, and 2/ develop an independent database of more than 150,000 objects to increase our common knowledge on the state of Earth’s orbital environment.  Read the press release here.


SpaceAble


  For more information or to support the initiative: netzerospace@parispeaceforum.org

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