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  • Satellite Evolution

GHGSat & Canadian Government to provide first high-resolution satellite emissions data to IMEO

At the COP26 climate summit, Stephane Germain, CEO of GHGSat, and the Honourable Steven Guilbeault Minister for Environment and Climate Change Canada, announced that Canada will be contributing the first high-resolution satellite dataset to the International Methane Emissions Observatory (IMEO).

IMEO is an independent, international hub for collecting and verifying methane emissions data. The ground-breaking climate change initiative will be hosted by the United Nations Environment Program, with the support of the European Commission and the International Energy Agency.

By collecting and analysing data from satellites, airborne and ground sensors, as well as data from national inventories and members of the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership, IMEO will improve methane reporting around the world. Global-scale impacts and trends will be revealed through the use of machine learning – resulting in actionable intelligence that will help stakeholders better quantify, manage and ultimately reduce their emissions.

The contribution of Canadian satellite data to IMEO is directly aligned with the Government of Canada’s climate change priorities. As a signatory to the Paris Agreement, the Government of Canada has committed to supporting the international effort to limit global average temperature increases to 1.5°C. Under the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, the Government of Canada is committed to achieving emissions neutrality (net-zero) by 2050.

GHGSat is the world-leader in high-resolution sensing of greenhouse gas emissions from space. Having pioneered the technology, it now operates the only existing satellite constellation capable of measuring industrial emissions down to the level of an individual oil or gas well. With 3 satellites already in orbit, for a ten-satellite constellation by the end of 2023, GHGSat is transforming our understanding of industrial methane pollution – both its sources and the opportunities for mitigation.

Participating in IMEO is a natural extension of this mission. GHGSat will share its archive as well as provide new information collected by its satellites. IMEO will integrate this high-resolution data with publicly available satellite emissions datasets to develop new data products that will be made freely available to stakeholders including legislators and climate scientists, and support their work to achieve emissions targets set out in their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement.

Making the announcement at COP26, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change said: “Canada is committed to leading in reducing methane emissions both at home and abroad. With key investments like the US$20 million to support GHGSat, an innovative Montreal-based start-up, the Government of Canada is empowering cutting-edge, made-in-Canada solutions to play a decisive role in reducing our emissions and leaving a legacy that future generations can be proud of.”

Announcing the data contribution, Stephane Germain, CEO, GHGSat said: “We set out to make a difference in the global fight to tackle climate change and today, GHGSat is taking a huge step forward in that ambition. No other commercial or government satellite currently in operation today is capable of providing IMEO with comparable facility-level emissions data. We have this data now and, thanks to the Government of Canada, we will be working together with the IMEO to share this unique insight on global methane emissions. Consistent, frequent and accurate data is critical to delivering effective programs and policies that will enable us to meet the Global Methane Pledge and reduce emissions by 30 percent by 2030. With this knowledge, we can act now.”

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