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Space is the place – monitoring the planet’s health with Copernicus

In collaboration with the Directorate-General for Defence Industry & Space and the Joint Research Centre

From sea to land to atmosphere, pollution harms our health and our environment. It is the largest environmental cause of multiple diseases and premature deaths. In addition, pollution is the main driver behind the exponential loss of biodiversity that our planet has experienced in recent years. Pollution reduces the ability of ecosystems to provide us with goods (from staples to materials) and services (from carbon sequestration and, in turn, climate regulation, to decontamination). EU Green Week 2021 marks the launch of the newly adopted action plan of the European Commission: “Towards a Zero Pollution Ambition for air, water and soil – building a Healthier Planet for Healthier People”.

Copernicus, European Commission’s Earth Observation Programme, provides Europe with a continuous, independent and reliable access to satellite Earth Observation data and information. Millions of gigabytes of global data from satellites and ground-based, airborne, and seaborne measurement systems, provide free and openly accessible information to help service providers, public authorities, and other international organisations to improve European citizens' quality of life and beyond. From water quality to CO2 concentrations, find out how Copernicus can assist in identifying sources of pollution at sea, on land, rivers, lakes, and in our atmosphere, so that successful steps can be taken in clean up our planet.


  • Matthias Petschke, Director, Directorate-General for Defence, Industry & Space (DG DEFIS), European Commission
  • Dr Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency (EEA) 
  • Vincent-Henri Peuch, Director of the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and Deputy Director for Copernicus Services at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)
  • Stuart Crane, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
  • Dr Laurence Crosnier, Head of the Market and Service Department at Mercator Ocean International, delivering the Copernicus Marine Service for the European Commission
  • Ana Abascal, Senior Researcher at the Environmental Hydraulics Institute (IHCantabria)


High level session
Session 4.4
Start Date
End Date
Main programme
Room 4