In a significant leap forward in global efforts to monitor, report, and trade carbon dioxide emissions, GHGSat has successfully launched its pioneering orbital sensor, Vanguard, from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.
The innovative technology is the first of its kind when it comes to measuring carbon dioxide emissions, capable of precisely identifying emissions from specific industrial sites, including cement and power plants.
GHGSat describes itself as the global leader in greenhouse gas emissions intelligence; in 2016, it “revolutionized the understanding of man-made methane emissions” with the launch of its demonstrator satellite called Claire, capable of imaging down to 25 meters on the ground.
The company currently has nine satellites making over two million facility measurements annually around the world and shares its data with NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) ESA, and the United Nations.
As GHGSat explains, the Vanguard is the “precursor to a new generation of space instruments that will build on GHGSat’s extensive experience with methane emissions to provide frequent, accurate and independent high-resolution CO2 data from individual sites.”
This, the company says, will “transform the way carbon dioxide emissions are monitored, reported and traded.”
Unlike public CO2 satellites already in orbit, Vanguard — thanks to its high spatial resolution — can “hone in on individual targets and accurately attribute emissions.”
In other words, operators of steel mills, power plants, and petrochemical complexes can now have access to “independent, accurate, and globally standardized emissions monitoring and data,” for the first time.
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While many facilities do have Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems (CEMS) in place, GHGSat says that Vanguard’s independent verification can assist them in optimizing day-to-day operations to reduce emissions.
The technology, according to GHGSat, will also improve the quality of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting and contribute to national and international efforts by enhancing the accuracy of emissions inventories and scientific modeling.
Stephane Germain, CEO at GHGSat, emphasized the importance of this advancement:
“Our high-resolution satellites helped put methane — a greenhouse gas that was out of sight and out of mind – at the top of the climate agenda. Now our goal is to harness this experience and change the conversation around CO2.”
“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. 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,” Germain added.
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