The GMES programme will use satellites to build a full picture of the state of the earth by generating continuous, cross-calibrated and long-term data-sets. The EU governments hope that this information can then be used to shape legislation concerning global change as well as function as a key tool in monitoring the effects of climate warming.
GMES — sometimes also referred to as Kopernikus — will cost over 2 billion Euros (US$2.6 billion), and is a joint venture between the European Union and European Space Agency. The UK contribution should position its scientists and engineers to play an important role in the venture.
"This is vital for us to make sure that we develop both an understanding of the science of climate change but also the effectiveness of the measures the world is now taking to reduce global warming," said UK science minister, Lord Drayson, who led the British delegation to the European Space Agency meeting.
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