Geospatial leaders to ponder climate at UK conference

By on 6 September, 2021

Image credit: ©

The UK’s Ordnance Survey is to host the Cambridge Conference this month, bringing together leaders from national mapping and geospatial agencies to consider climate change challenges.

The Cambridge Conference is a prestige event that has been held every four years since 1928. This iteration will run differently to most, however, as it will be split into two parts this year and next.

The first part, a one-day virtual event called ‘Cambridge Conference in Conversation,’ will be held on Wednesday 15 September 2021.

That will be 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’. It will explore how national mapping and geospatial agencies can support their government’s strategic policies on mitigation and adaptation in relation to the climate crisis.

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

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.

Those leaders will also highlight best practice examples from across the globe where location data is delivering positive impact in achieving net zero.

Roundtable groups will discuss how the geospatial industry can play a role in the four common goals ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow beginning on 31 October.

Those goals are to:

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

“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,” said Steve Blair, CEO of the Ordnance Survey.

“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.”

Further details and the main theme of the second event in April 2022 will be announced soon.

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