His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (6th from right), Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, with the space agencies' leaders at COP28 at Expo City Dubai on Tuesday Image Credit: X/@DXBMediaOffice

Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, on Tuesday met leaders representing 20 international space agencies participating in the first-ever Space Agencies Leaders’ Summit at COP28 in Dubai.

The Summit is organised by the UAE Space Agency to discuss the contribution of the space sector in addressing the climate change and environment issues worldwide.

On his account on X, Sheikh Mohammed stated that the UAE’s message during COP28 is clear - international cooperation is needed and the UAE is an effective global partner in confronting the “most important challenge facing planet Earth, the challenge of climate change”.

The meeting was attended by Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE.

During the meeting, Sheikh Mohammed highlighted the UAE's ambitious clean energy and space projects, which are aligned with the country's sustainable development goals and its commitment to contributing to building a brighter global future. He said these projects reflect the UAE's dedication to fostering innovation, international cooperation, and finding effective solutions to global challenges. He commended international space agencies for their vital role in advancing knowledge and solutions for environmental protection and sustainable development.

The meeting was also attended by Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Ports and Borders Security Council.

The Space Agencies Leaders’ Summit, organised by the UAE Space Agency, brought together more than 20 international space agencies.

The summit, which witnessed the participation of senior officials and decision-makers from the world over, discussed ways of enhancing data sharing between established and emerging space nations, strengthening climate research by allocating resources and funding for climate research initiatives within the space sector, supporting climate monitoring initiatives by establishing new programmes, and promoting sustainable space operations by minimising the environmental impact of space programmes.

The Space Agencies Leaders’ Summit ended with a Space Sector Pledge for Enhancing Space-Based Climate Initiatives to accelerate climate action by financing climate programmes and strengthening climate research to meet global commitments outlined by the Paris Agreement in 2015.

During the summit, international space agencies pledged to enhance mutual exchange of scientific data and boost climate research while promoting sustainable space activities and financing space-climate initiatives.

Demonstrating its pioneering role as an enabler of the space sector, the UAE Space Agency has played an instrumental role in organising the Space Pavilion at COP28, under the slogan ‘Space for Sustainability’.

The Space Pavilion will host an extensive programme featuring numerous presentations and over 60 panel sessions on harnessing satellite data, leveraging space technology for sustainability, addressing climate change through mitigation and adaptation strategies, the latest sustainable technologies and initiatives in the space sector, financing for space-climate initiatives, and methane and greenhouse gases.

Other attendees at the meeting included Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology; Talal Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Vice President of Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC); Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police; Salem Butti Al Qubaisi; Director-General, UAE Space Agency, Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Chairman of MBRSC; Salem Humaid Al Marri, Director General of MBRSC; Ibrahim Hamza Al Qasim. Deputy Director General, UAE Space Agency; UAE astronauts Sultan Al Neyadi and Hazza Al Mansoori, Mohsen Al Awadhi Director of Space Missions Department, UAE Space Agency; Omar Hassan Al Shehhi Head of Space Quality Standards Section, UAE Space Agency.