The new satellite, called Vanguard, is so accurate that it can measure carbon dioxide emissions at every power station and factory. This will provide governments and companies with a wealth of information to reduce emissions.
Vanguard launched last weekend from the Vandenberg Space Station in California on a SpaceX Falcon rocket. The new satellite is now orbiting the Earth and will be able to measure carbon dioxide emissions with an unprecedented accuracy of 25 metres. This will help identify individual sources, such as coal-fired power plants, cement plants, steel mills, or chemical companies.
GHGSat, the Canadian company behind the satellite, is not its first attempt. It has already launched similar satellites to map global methane emissions with unprecedented precision.
“Our high-resolution satellites have brought methane, ‘that forgotten greenhouse gas’, back to the top of the climate agenda,” says Stefan Germain, CEO of GHGSat. “Our goal now is to use this experience and re-ignite the CO2 debate. As regulators, investors and the public increasingly hold companies accountable for direct and indirect emissions, it is clear that better data on CO2 is needed.
Satellite data will provide a wealth of information to scientists and enable companies themselves to reduce their emissions and improve their environmental reporting. The satellite will also provide public authorities with a new tool to map emissions on their territory and call major polluters into order.
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