A new initiative to develop a digital twin of the Earth in an effort to help tackle climate change has been launched by the European Commission and partner organisations.
Destination Earth (DestinE), supported with an initial €150 million (£128m) from the Digital Programme until mid-2024, aims to help monitor, model and predict natural and human activity as well as develop and test scenarios for more sustainable development.
It will initially provide information, digital services, scenarios, forecasts and visualisations to public sector users and gradually to scientific communities, the private sector and the general public.
That will include the effects of climate change and extreme weather events, their socio-economic impact and possible adaptation and mitigation strategies.
The Commission, together with the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), will gradually develop the Destination Earth system by setting up a core platform that will host digital replicas of Earth systems and natural phenomena, called Digital Twins.
The initiative is expected to help to better prepare to respond to major natural disasters, adapt to climate change and predict the socioeconomic impact.
As part of the European Commission’s Green Deal and Digital Strategy, DestinE will contribute to achieving the objectives of the twin transition – green and digital.
Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President for a Europe fit for the Digital Age said: “Destination Earth will improve our understanding of climate change and enable solutions at global, regional and local level.
“This initiative is a clear example that we cannot fight climate change without digital technologies. For example, the digital modelling of the Earth will help to predict major environmental degradation with unprecedented reliability.”