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Aerial Police: New Emissions Tracking Satellite

GHGSat, a global emissions-monitoring company based in Montreal, has launched a satellite that will detect emissions from industrial facilities. The satellite can capture the facilities, such as power plants, in high resolution to more accurately track and attribute emissions.


GHGSat's new emissions monitoring satellite
Vanguard: GHGSat's new emissions monitoring satellite | GHGSat

While satellites that track emissions already exist, none are focused on tracking emissions from facility to facility. With high-resolution technology, the Vanguard satellite is designed to better monitor facilities’ emissions and lead to improved reporting. And, of course, help stop industrial facilities under-reporting their emissions and holding them to account if they do.


“With regulators, investors and the public increasingly holding companies to account, for both their direct and indirect emissions, there is little doubt that better CO2 data is needed,” said Stephane Germain, CEO of GHGSat. “Trusted, independent data will help incentivize industry to manage its emissions effectively. It will ensure that climate policies are well-founded. Above all, it will help all of us stay on track to achieve Net Zero by 2050.”


“Often what we find is a mix of direct measurements and estimates - therefore having a direct measurement of the entire facility from a satellite will act as a validation,” Germain explained, as reported by Reuters.


Vanguard will be joined in early 2024 by NASA's Carbon Mapper, an imaging spectrometer that will provide targeted data on “super-emitters” - the small percentage of individual sources responsible for a significant fraction of global methane and carbon dioxide emissions. This combined aerial police force, along with other satellites already in play, will ensure that polluters will have nowhere to hide.


Carbon dioxide and methane are the top two greenhouse gases at 76 percent and 16 percent, respectively, of global emissions, says the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. The biggest industry greenhouse gas emitters, according to Climate Trade, include the fossil fuel, agriculture, fashion, transportation and construction industries.

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