MethaneSAT will be the most advanced methane-tracking satellite in space.
MethaneSAT’s mission is simple: to encourage and enable the reduction of methane emissions.
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas. Human-produced methane emissions account for at least 25 percent of the global warming we are now experiencing. This warming contributes to the extreme weather events that are disrupting livelihoods and lifestyles everywhere, and hurting the world’s poor the most. Cutting methane pollution is a fast and efficient way to mitigate climate change and prevent further climate-related disruption and destruction. The problem is that methane is invisible to the naked eye and thus difficult to track.
The oil and gas industry is one of the major producers of methane. Indeed, the energy sector overall accounts for about 40 percent of global methane emissions that are attributable to human activity. Fortunately, it possesses cost-effective, proven solutions to curb methane leaks from oil, natural gas, coal and bioenergy. But finding the leaks is challenging, especially when they are small. While satellites are already used to detect large sources of methane, they miss the countless small sources responsible for 90 percent of global emissions—and that’s the reason for MethaneSAT.
MethaneSAT is a methane-tracking satellite designed to locate and measure methane emissions anywhere on Earth with unprecedented precision. It was initiated by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), a leading innovator in the environmental advocacy space. Once it is launched in 2023, it will be the most advanced methane-tracking satellite in orbit, able to track emissions over time and analyze findings in a matter of days. The data it collects, analyzes, and shares will make it faster and cheaper for companies and countries to identify, manage, and reduce methane emissions. All data collected will be made publicly available so stakeholders—including regulators, investors, buyers, and citizens— can compare emissions results and push for corrective action. The result will be an immediate and significant reduction in methane emissions that could change the course of global warming and help protect livelihoods of the world’s poorest.
King Philanthropies supports the efforts of EDF and partners to collect and disseminate actionable data on methane emissions with MethaneSAT. Once put to use by decision makers and shared by influential voices, this data will help reduce the rate of climate change and improve the lives of the world’s most impoverished people.