ICOS presented future plans at the Observing the Horizon event in Helsinki
As part of his official visit to Finland this week, the European Commission Director-General of the
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation Robert-Jan Smits met on Wednesday, 25. May 2016 with
the ICOS representatives at hotel Torni in Helsinki.
Helsinki based ICOS ERIC Head Office has organised this event entitled Observing the Horizon in order
to present ICOS future plans for supporting Paris climate agreement with the emphasis on the necessity
of a science-based carbon observation system that will enable a detailed knowledge base in order to
support and verify future global mitigation and adaptation climate change processes.
During the event ICOS Director General Werner Kutsch has talked about ICOS ambition to further develop
and become the European pillar of a global in-situ carbon and greenhouse gas observations and provide
a repository service for higher integrated knowledge. "ICOS has been designed primarily to observe the
natural background carbon fluxes. However, we already started a development to include also the anthropogenic
carbon emissions, especially in the urban areas and our aim is to develop scientific and technological
readiness during our final implementation later this year ahead of the next UN COP22 meeting in Morocco,"
said ICOS DG Werner Kutsch.
At the moment there are more than 100 ICOS RI stations in 11 member and observer countries. First GHG
measurement stations in the ICOS European network are expected to be labelled and operational in summer
2016. The current challenges of ICOS beyond becoming fully operational is to increase its geographical
coverage and the number of participating countries.
Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission, said:
"ICOS has made impressive progress on the way to become fully operational since the Commission granted
it the legal status of European Research Infrastructure six months ago. This is good news, since it will
provide scientific data on carbon emissions and trends that should underpin the necessary mitigation
activities against climate change."
Mr. Smits also emphasized important role that ICOS, as environmental research infrastructure, has in the
context of the COP21 agreement implementation. ICOS is planning to prepare itself strategically for the
future observational demands that will come from UNFCCC and for close cooperation with international
bodies such as WMO, UNEP, IPCC, GCOS, and GEO on a political and practical level. In order to achieve
that, the cooperation with COPERNICUS and European Environmental Agency (EEA) has to be deepened and
ICOS RI Communications Coordinator
Mobile phone: +358 50 44 888 40
Werner Kutsch (left) and Robert-Jan Smits (right) during the
"Oberving the Horizon" event on May 25 2016.