News in cooperation with eceee.org

Satellite to ‘name and shame’ worst oil and gas methane polluters

(The Guardian, 4 Mar 2024) Leaks are driving 30% of the climate crisis and MethaneSat will provide the first near-comprehensive global view.

A washing-machine-sized satellite is to “name and shame” the worst methane polluters in the oil and gas industry.

MethaneSat is scheduled to launch from California onboard a SpaceX rocket on Monday at 2pm local time (22:00 GMT). It will provide the first near-comprehensive global view of leaks of the potent greenhouse gas from the oil and gas sector, and all of the data will be made public. It will provide high-resolution data over wider areas than existing satellites.

Methane, also called natural gas, is responsible for 30% of the global heating driving the climate crisis. Leaks from the fossil fuel industry are a major source of human-caused emissions and stemming these is the fastest single way to curb temperature rises.

MethaneSat was developed by the Environmental Defense Fund, a US NGO, in partnership with the New Zealand Space Agency and cost $88m to build and launch. Earlier EDF measurements from planes show methane emissions were 60% higher than calculated estimates published by US authorities and elsewhere.

External link

The Guardian, 4 Mar 2024: Satellite to ‘name and shame’ worst oil and gas methane polluters