One to one with ADEME

Published on 02/02/2022
As an agency for ecological transition, ADEME is formalising its commitment within SCO France, of which it has become a funding partner. Johan Ransquin, head of the department dedicated to the fight against climate change, finds in SCO the approach and the network that are in line with the logic sought by ADEME. Meeting.

Which department do you head within ADEME and what is its particularity?Johan Ransquin: I am Director of Adaptation and Low-Carbon Trajectories. This department was created in 2020 to support local authorities and companies in so-called climate trajectories, which combine mitigation and adaptation to climate change. It also provides a better transversality within ADEME to strengthen its action in terms of adaptation to climate change.

Johan Ransquin © ADEME

Johan Ransquin © ADEME

As a member of the SCO France, what is your vision on this initiative? What do you expect from it?J.R.: I have a very positive view of the SCO! I must admit that at the beginning I was waiting to "see" what it was going to do, but my doubts have been swept away: CNES has done an extraordinary job in federating such a large group of partners, who until then had not often worked together, and it has succeeded. With the SCO, CNES has managed to create a working community based on the space sector and to give it a core operation. Moreover, we can see that there is a strong presence in the steering committees of SCO France, which is revealing: the SCO provides a forum for an integrated approach to the territories. Today, I expect the SCO to continue what it has been able to put in place, especially as a community facilitator. The CNES has put a lot of energy into it, let's consolidate and continue this effort.

How will satellite data complement what your institution's climate teams are already doing?J.R.: ADEME intervenes a lot via its Climate Change Adaptation Pathway for Territories, an approach that aims to coordinate different tools to support local authorities in taking into account adaptation to climate change in their development. Although this approach remains fairly classic - diagnosis of vulnerabilities and opportunities, definition and deployment of an action plan, monitoring of results - satellite data can provide a fundamental dynamic approach, both in the diagnosis phase and in the implementation of an action plan. Indeed, when a local authority implements a policy, it must first take stock of the situation - sometimes it does not know what has the greatest impact - and then it needs to monitor the results to see what works and what does not. Rather than having systematic, expensive and time-consuming in situ measurements carried out, the satellite enables us to support a local authority in its action plan at a lower cost, quickly and with a geographical grid that corresponds to its territory.

On 7 December 2021, ADEME and CNES signed a partnership agreement for the SCO. What does this agreement consist of?J.R.: This cooperation agreement ratifies a collaboration that seems relevant to us. It recognises a "way of doing things" and acknowledges ADEME's financial commitment to supporting SCO-labelled projects. Indeed, although we sometimes support projects on a case-by-case basis, we prefer to work within the framework of calls for projects such as those proposed by the SCO, with all that they generate: emulation, networking and joint reflection capable of bringing out the most relevant projects. We particularly appreciate the fact that we are starting from an experimental area, where we are trying to bring together companies and the scientific community. If we add the replicability dimension, this is exactly the type of orientation that ADEME gives to its own calls for projects.

Initially, this agreement provides for a maximum envelope of one million euros for 2022, the consumption of which will depend on the projects and their financing needs. ADEME will therefore study the files on a case-by-case basis and, if necessary, provide financial support and expertise. At the same time, if the need arises, we will be able to develop our usual support systems to integrate SCO projects more easily in the future. In any case, this agreement marks the beginning of what we hope will be a fruitful collaboration, which we will review and adapt.

You personally participate in the SCO Labelling Committee. What do you think about it?J.R.: Being at the heart of the committee is very interesting! It allows us to scan all the projects and to cross-check our expertise, but also to identify the most relevant funding. On this subject, we know how important it is to optimise credits: the landscape of institutions represented on the labelling committee avoids labelling actions that already exist and identifying the most promising projects.

What projects or types of projects are you working on?J.R.: We are interested in various projects, primarily tools for detecting vulnerability to the problems of urban heat islands, irrigation, runoff and flooding. As measuring climate change itself is not our core business, the SCO opens up a window of opportunity in which the satellite can be used as a lever to support the local authority in the dynamic approach mentioned earlier. As ADEME organises its own calls for projects, we will also be able to detect synergies between our projects and those of the SCO, and to put the consortia concerned in touch with each other.

"The SCO supports action research and we can now see that its calls for projects can guide upstream research.”

What future do you see for the SCO France?J.R.: The SCO is finding its place after two years of existence. We have had to invent ways of doing things and we are now at cruising speed. The question of project funding is crucial: although the CNES, the OFB and the ADEME currently provide the SCO with funds, it would be interesting if other players were to join the financial round table in order to provide better support for the projects that have been awarded the label and thus maximise their impact.

I also note a novelty in the orientation dimension of the SCO calls for projects: if they collect existing work, they become capable of orienting new applied research projects, upstream of its labelling. Ultimately, researchers begin to submit applications that respond to the themes requested by the SCO, knowing that after the upstream research phase, financed by ADEME and/or other appropriate institutions, their project can be completed within the framework of the SCO, which is more rooted in action research. In this way, we are starting a virtuous circle. Nothing is guaranteed, but the future is open and I wish the SCO a long life!



ADEME is a public institution under the supervision of the Ministry of Ecological Transition and the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. Committed to the fight against global warming and the degradation of resources, ADEME puts its expertise and foresight capacities at the service of public policies. On all fronts, it mobilises citizens, economic players and regions, giving them the means to move towards a resource-efficient, low-carbon, fairer and more harmonious society.