From The Council

GEO and WGIC Joint Study on the Mapping GHG monitoring capabilities from Space

GEO and WGIC are jointly undertaking a study on the Mapping for GHG monitoring from Space, that aims to create an inventory of earth observation satellites and their capabilities to monitor GHG Emissions from space.

WGIC Secretariat July 9, 2021
GHG Monitoring from Space - A study by GEO and WGIC

The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and the World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIC) are jointly undertaking a study on the Mapping of GHG monitoring capabilities from Space, that aims to create an inventory of earth observation satellites and their capabilities to monitor GHG Emissions from space. Both GEO and WGIC will publish a report that will be presented at the COP26 event.

Objective of the Study

The Mapping of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) from Space aims to develop a comprehensive overview of currently available and upcoming Earth observation (EO) technologies, provided by both public- and private-sector entities, in order to support global and national efforts to better understand, measure, validate and reduce GHG emissions. 

The mapping aims to not only provide an overview of the state-of-the-art remote sensing technologies to monitor GHG from space, but also creates a strong link to climate action, enabling policy makers and practitioners alike.  Additionally, the cooperative effort between the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), on behalf of public-sector space agencies, and the World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIC), on behalf of private-sector space and satellite companies presents a good example of how both the public and private sectors can work together to address the challenges associated with the Earth’s changing climate.

Based on outcomes of the “Forum on Innovation in remote sensing technologies for accelerated climate action – Part of the Race to Zero & On the Road Towards COP26”, EO provides specific opportunities to support national Governments in the implementation of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) mitigation targets: 

  • EO data for climate action is recognized as essential to advance climate action. In this context, commercial EO companies are innovating through satellite constellations with continuous monitoring, and an increasing number of satellites specifically built for climate action. There remains, however, much room for innovation from the private sector. There is also a need for large actors such as governments to continue to finance innovative initiatives both in the public and private sectors.  So, it is important that leading space agencies and commercial EO companies discuss funding and financing innovation.
  • There is also a need for sectoral-specific data sets and metadata for public good. National and regional initiatives will benefit from open data hubs for climate action, coupled with a stakeholder consultation effort on who needs what, what is available from whom, and a compilation of success stories/ case studies.
  • In addition to more and better (higher resolution – spatially, temporally and spectrally) data, there was a call to make algorithms and Artificial Intelligence (AI) models available through open data initiatives. Collaboration between private industry, research and academia can play a significant role in this effort.
  • Lastly, it was recognized that a coalition of the willing is essential to move forward in reinforcing the value of EO tools and technologies for significant climate action.

Inviting Commercial Earth Observation Companies

If you are a commercial earth observation company with GHG Emissions (CH4, CO2, N2O, and O3) monitoring capabilities, please write to us at