TRIBUNE. Space debris: “It’s time to protect the Earth’s orbital environment”, warn about forty French and foreign parliamentarians

At the initiative of French Senator André Gattolin, around forty French and foreign parliamentarians signed a platform to warn about orbital pollution caused by space debris. An issue discussed in mid-November at the Paris Peace Forum, and which burst into the news after the destruction of one of its satellites by Russia on November 15, using a shot from missile. The increase in the number of activities conducted in outer space could make it, in the worst case, “inaccessible to humanity”, these elected officials of all stripes, from 15 different countries are alarmed. They express themselves here freely.

On November 12, 2021, on the occasion of the fourth edition of the Paris Peace Forum, actors from all over the world, concerned by the rapid deterioration of the Earth’s orbital environment, launched the “Net Zero Space” initiative, which calls for ensuring the sustainable use of outer space by 2030 by adopting urgent measures to reduce the number of space debris.

We welcome this multi-stakeholder initiative and support its ambition to bring together both space sector stakeholders and all political forces, with the aim of protecting the long-term sustainability of outer space.

Given that the space market is set to generate more than $ 1 trillion by 2040 (according to Morgan Stanley bank), or even by 2030 (according to Bank of America), we must not forget the costly consequences. that would have an economic development which would not be sustainable and an uncontrolled pollution. Beyond strategic capacities, everyday technologies such as telecommunications, satellite guidance, but also financial transactions, or even the capacities of the cloud, depend on space infrastructures and are increasingly threatened by the increase in the number of space debris. The development of future technologies with important social benefits but dependent on the viability of outer space, such as the production of solar energy in orbit, would also be greatly slowed down, if not prevented, due to excessive pollution of the orbital environment.

The increase in the number of activities carried out in outer space makes the problem of reducing the number of space debris even more pressing. There are approximately 29,600 objects in orbit under surveillance, and many more that no one on Earth can monitor. If Earth orbits were to become less practicable, the rising costs of launching and operating space technologies would, at best, have a significant crowding-out effect both internationally and among various national players. . In the worst case, it would simply make outer space inaccessible to humanity.

The protection of the Earth’s orbital environment is an essential element for the sustainable development of the space market, for the protection of existing and future space infrastructures, but also for the equal access of all actors throughout the world to the benefits of orbits. terrestrial. Each of us on Earth is a user of space technologies: we therefore believe that it is high time to mobilize political resources to address this urgent challenge, both nationally and internationally, before ‘it’s not too late.

We look forward to soon being able to cooperate with the “Net Zero Space” coalition in order to develop concrete actions aimed at making the Earth’s orbital environment safer and encouraging the sustainable use of space by 2030.

The petitioners :

At the initiative of André Gattolin, senator, France

Pierre Cabaré – deputy, France

Olivier Cadic senator, France

Samuel Cogolati deputy, Belgium

Titus Corlățean senator, Romania

Damien Cottier deputy, Switzerland

Yves Détraigne senator, France

Jacques Fernique senator, France

Pavel Fischer senator, Czech Republic

Eric Forest senator, Canada

Laura Garavini senator, Italy

Amina Gerba Senator, Canada

Vlad gheorghe MEP, Romania

Olga Givernet MP, France

Fabien Gouttefarde deputy, France

Christophe Grudler MEP, France

Roger haddad deputy, Sweden

Davor Ivo Stier MP, Croatia

Hanna kosonen MP, Finland

Sujeet kumar MP, India

Bastien Lachaud deputy, France

Jean-Luc Lagleize deputy, France

Christine Lavarde senator, France

Jean-Paul Lecoq deputy, France

Carmen Martinez MP, Spain

Jean-Luc Mélenchon deputy, France

Niklas Nienaß MEP, Germany

Aurel Oprinoiu senator, Romania

Francois Patriat senator, France

Ion-Dragos Popescu senator, Romania

Natalia Pouzyreff MP, France

Nik Prebil deputy, Slovenia

Sophie primas senator, France

Roberto Rampi senator, Italy

Jean-Francois Rapin senator, France

Dovilė Šakalienė MP, Lithuania

Patricia schillinger senator, France

Nicolae Ştefănuță MEP, Romania

Massimo Ungaro deputy, Italy

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