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French astronaut on space station calls for climate change action now

earth thomas pesquet
French astronaut Thomas Pesquet shared this image of Earth from the International Space Station. Credit: Thomas Pesquet/Twitter (Image credit: Thomas Pesquet/Twitter)

A French astronaut in space shared his current view of Earth and a call to address global warming as international leaders meet at a United Nations summit on climate.

Thomas Pesquet, a European Space Agency astronaut who is commander of the International Space Station, shared a view of the United Kingdom, which is hosting the meeting, surrounded by water. You can just see a solar panel of the space station peeking into the picture at top left.

"The Climate Change Conference #COP26Glasgow has started: we need #ClimateAction to reduce emissions and protect our world, and we can only do this together," Pesquet wrote in a tweet posted Monday (Nov. 1), tagging the United Nations Twitter feed.

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The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) is taking place in Glasgow, Scotland until Nov. 12; Scotland is unfortunately under clouds in this picture, Pesquet noted.

(Pesquet is due to land in the coming weeks with Crew-2, but is in space a little longer amid a delay launching the Crew-3 mission due to a minor medical issue with one of the astronauts. NASA is currently targeting launch on Saturday (Nov. 6).)

Summit officials say that COP26 is "the world's best last chance" at addressing the global warming crisis, which in 2021 alone spurred devastating wildfires, storms, floods, glacial melting and other extreme weather across numerous global jurisdictions.

The 25th summit was held in December 2019 in Madrid and the results were widely panned by environmental observers, according to National Geographic, especially as some discussions about carbon markets were deferred to Glasgow.

Pesquet also expressed dissatisfaction with the 2019 summit. "The results were a little disappointing," he said on Flickr

"Let's hope that the leaders from all over the world can unite and work together to achieve the goals that will keep our planet habitable for many millennia to come. We need #ClimateAction to reduce emissions and protect our world."

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook. 

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Elizabeth Howell

Elizabeth Howell is a contributing writer for who is one of the few Canadian journalists to report regularly on space exploration. She is the author or co-author of several books on space exploration. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Dakota in Space Studies, and an M.Sc. from the same department. She also holds a bachelor of journalism degree from Carleton University in Canada, where she began her space-writing career in 2004. Besides writing, Elizabeth teaches communications at the university and community college level, and for government training schools. To see her latest projects, follow Elizabeth on Twitter at @howellspace.