The world has to start acting in a more muscular way on climate change and make a fundamental overhaul of economic models, a senior European official believes.
But eyes in the sky such as the EU's Copernicus satellite system can help politicians and policymakers understand the impacts climate change can wreak.
Patrick Child, the deputy director-general of the European Commission's research and innovation department, says the continent is very proud to be leading the way in delivering the Paris agreement on climate action.
While he wouldn't buy into Australia's often-testy political debate on the issue, he said there was a global challenge in making sure the scientific evidence around climate change was brought into the broader debate and used to set government priorities.
"We really need to start acting in a much more muscular and serious way in a whole range of areas, and not just in terms of developing new technologies - which is very important - but also thinking through the consequences for our societies," Mr Child told AAP in Canberra on Tuesday.
"Full decarbonisation means a really fundamental overhaul of how our economic models work, how our social models work, as well as dealing with the ecological challenges."
Europe would continue to argue strongly for countries all over the world - including EU members, Australia and the United States - to have higher level of ambitions for action on climate change, Mr Child said.
"If we don't invest now, the mind-boggling costs of dealing with some of the more dramatic scenarios that you can imagine coming out of climate change will really overshadow massively the efforts and investments that we need to make now," he said.
Mr Child is in Australia for the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) ministerial summit, discussing how observations of planet Earth can be used to work towards a more sustainable future.
He says the data that can be gleaned from satellite imaging, for example, is vital when looking at adaptation to climate change because it can accurately show where sea levels are rising, changes in land use, and the spread of deserts.
In Australia, data from the Copernicus satellites has been shared to map where the Townsville floods would spread, and to model the medium- and longer-term trends of water management in the Murray Darling Basin and how that plays into drought policy.
Australian Associated Press