The new satellite, called Vanguard, is so precise that it can measure the CO2 emissions of every power plant and factory. This will provide governments and companies with a wealth of information on how 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 CO2 emissions with an unprecedented accuracy of 25 meters. This allows individual sources such as coal-fired power plants, cement plants, steel mills or chemical companies to be identified.
GHGSat, the Canadian company behind the satellite, is not the first attempt. It has already launched similar satellites to map global methane emissions with unprecedented resolution.
“Our high-resolution satellites have put methane, ‘the forgotten greenhouse gas’, back at the top of the climate agenda,” says Stéphane Germain, CEO of GHGSat. “Our goal now is to take this experience and restart the carbon debate.” “As regulators, investors and the public increasingly hold companies accountable for direct and indirect emissions, it is clear that better carbon data is needed. “
The satellite data will provide a wealth of information for scientists and enable companies themselves to reduce their emissions and improve their environmental reporting. The satellite will also give authorities a new tool to map emissions on their territory and bring big polluters to justice.