Global geospatial leaders unite at Cambridge Conference to discuss climate change action

4 minute read
Ordnance Survey is hosting the Cambridge Conference, a prestige event held every four-years since 1928, bringing together leaders from national mapping and geospatial agencies from across the globe to connect and discuss how they are supporting their national governments in the response to one of the biggest global challenges of our time.

To have a voice in the debate around COP26 in Glasgow, the next Cambridge Conference will run slightly differently. There will be two events; a one-day virtual event, Cambridge Conference in Conversation, will be held on Wednesday 15 September 2021 followed by a three-day hybrid Cambridge Conference 2022 event which will take place in April next year, bringing invitees together both virtually and in person.

The theme for September’s Cambridge Conference in Conversation event will be ‘Applying Geospatial Information to Climate Challenges’, exploring how national mapping and geospatial agencies can support their government’s strategic policies on mitigation and adaptation in relation to the climate crisis.

A key outcome will be a collective statement from global geospatial leaders to set out how their organisations can bring their authoritative data to bear on the most critical areas of our climate response. They will also highlight best practice examples from across the globe where location data is delivering positive impact in achieving net zero.

Intimate roundtable groups will discuss how the geospatial industry can play a role in the four common goals ahead of COP26:

  • Secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach
  • Adapt to protect communities and natural wildlife
  • Mobilise finance
  • Working together to deliver

The keynote speaker at the virtual event in September will be Farhana Yamin, an internationally recognised environmental lawyer, climate change and development policy expert. She has advised leaders and ministers on climate negotiations for 30 years.

Geospatial information is used by governments, organisations and individuals across the globe to enable effective decision-making, support analysis to understand complex situations and drive efficiencies. Global recognition of the power of accurate, well-maintained geospatial information can unlock valuable insights that can help tackle climate change and protect citizens.

Details and the overarching theme of the second event in April 2022 will be released to delegates shortly.

Fighting Climate Change

According to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report, human actions are changing the climate in unprecedented and often irreversible ways. At COP26 world leaders are being asked to come forward with ambitious 2030 emissions reductions targets that align with reaching net zero by the middle of the century.

Climate change is already intensifying specific weather and climate events such as extreme heat waves, heavy rainfall events and rising sea levels, all which are severely threatening lives and livelihoods globally. Geospatial data can provide a source of accurate and reliable information to ensure decision makers are better positioned to efficiently, and more successfully tackle the climate crisis, and accelerate action to achieve net-zero.

Since 1970, global surface temperatures have risen faster than in any other 50-year period over the past 2,000 years but the IPCC report suggests we can halt and possibly reverse the rise in temperatures, which is expected to reach or exceed 1.5°C of warming by 2040.

"The Cambridge Conference will be a valuable opportunity for national leaders of mapping and geospatial agencies to discuss how our critical data can support how we respond to climate change."

Steve Blair, Ordnance Survey CEO

“Location data is fundamental to understanding and mitigating global, regional and local issues - from supporting infrastructure planning for green transport and electric vehicles, mitigating flood risks, to identifying greenspaces which can be used as a renewable energy source. The event is a great opportunity for the geospatial sector to step up and show the world how we can contribute and make real progress in tackling climate change by working together towards one common goal.”

For more information visit Cambridge Conference | Ordnance Survey

By Press Office

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