Bloomberg Philanthropies Commits $25 Million To Accelerate Satellite & Airborne Methane Sensing Technologies To Turbocharge Fight Against Climate Change

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Bloomberg Philanthropies, Carbon Mapper and partners announced the Carbon Mapper Accelerator program to accelerate the implementation of new remote sensing technologies needed to efficiently locate, quantify and diagnose sources of high methane and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions globally. The new initiative provides immediate support to governments committed to the Global Methane Pledge, an unprecedented agreement led by the US and the EU to reduce global methane emissions by 30% by 2030, which yesterday got 24 new country signatories.

“Methane is a major contributor to climate change, and if we can not measure it, we can not cope. Accurate, localized data on the sources of methane emissions will enable us to make critical progress towards the goals of the Global Methane Commitment – and our latest communication aims to help do just that, “said Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions and founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies. “The Accelerator program will provide public and private sector leaders with the information they need to act and reduce methane pollution immediately.”

“The global methane pledge recognizes the need for a concerted global effort now to address the climate threat posed by this super-potent greenhouse gas,” said U.S. special envoy for climate change John Kerry. “The promise must be matched with bold solutions. One way to do this is with the Carbon Mapper Accelerator program – it will provide anyone who is serious about curbing methane emissions, transparent, independent data and insight into actions we can take today to make the emission reductions we know , are required to keep 1.5C Out of Range. “

Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases contributing to global warming and a leading cause of global climate change. The accelerator will turbo-charge efforts to equip public and private sector makers with timely, open-source data on methane emissions — allowing them to act quickly to reduce emissions in the global zero-zero race.

“This generous contribution and partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies comes at a time when our society needs an immediate pressure in court to reduce greenhouse gas emissions — especially the super-polluting methane,” said Riley Duren, CEO of Carbon Mapper. “This positions Carbon Mapper to support short-term emission reduction efforts from several countries as part of the Global Methane Pledge as well as new methane monitoring and mitigation programs established by federal and state agencies, NGOs and companies. The steps we are taking today will lubricate the shit for the rapid adoption and action of many stakeholders when the first satellites in our constellation are launched in 2023. ”

Specifically, the new Carbon Mapper Accelerator will:

  1. Immediately expand airborne mapping of methane supermitters throughout America, Europe and Africa – providing timely, open source data that can inform climate policy and actions prior to the deployment of the 2023 satellite constellation.
  2. Give politicians, agencies, businesses and civil society early access to carbon Mappers open source data, promote the implementation of Carbon Mapper’s open online data portal at carbonmapper.org – including initial airborne data products from the fall of 2021, expanded capabilities for the full satellite data portal in 2023, and expert support for users.
  3. Develop and test new groundbreaking remote sensor technology, including advanced land and sea data products that can support climate adaptation and conservation efforts as well as satellite data fusion with coordinated high-resolution image of Planet SkySat established constellation.

The accelerator will provide powerful, tactical support for the Global Methane Pledge signatures, leveraging a constellation of satellites and airborne observations to deliver frequent and sustained global monitoring of methane and carbon emissions and offer immediate technical assistance and expert interpretation. The effort also illustrates how philanthropy is intensified to fill the funding gap in emissions monitoring – a critical and unmet need to track climate efforts. This announcement builds on yesterday’s launch of a first-of-its-kind alliance of leading philanthropies – including Bloomberg Philanthropies – which has pledged more than $ 200 million to reduce methane emissions globally.

“A big thank you to Bloomberg Philanthropies – this grant will help our consortium quickly build Carbon Mapper to tackle methane and CO2 emissions,” said Will Marshall, co-founder and CEO of Planet. “Measuring emissions is crucial to enabling the sustainability revolution, and we are excited to have Bloomberg as a core partner.”

“We are excited to see Bloomberg Philanthropies step into Carbon Mappers’ work to identify methane sources around the world – this catalytic investment in greenhouse gas mitigation brings benefits for all of us,” said Richard Lawrence, founder and CEO of the High Tide Foundation. “This innovative coalition brings to life the critical role that philanthropy plays in arming decision-makers with the data they need to accelerate the transition to clean energy as quickly as possible.”

The new Accelerator expands the unique partnership between the High Tide Foundation, the Grantham Foundation and other leading climate funders to develop and implement a constellation of satellites to help combat climate change. Driven by $ 125 million in philanthropic funding to date, this coalition of private and public actors plans to launch its first satellites in 2023 and expand into an operational multi-satellite constellation starting in 2025, along with accompanying computing platforms. Early Carbon Mapper pilot projects in California, including a recently launched data portal, have proven the success of this model and its potential to expand as a game-changer in methane monitoring and reporting worldwide.

“This contribution will support the deployment of satellites that can significantly strengthen CARB’s efforts to identify and remedy methane leaks from oil and gas fields as well as other sources,” said CARB President Liane Randolph. “The data from the program will help quickly locate and prioritize methane leaks to better ensure that those responsible take immediate corrective action to combat climate change.”

Bloomberg’s support will also enable Carbon Mapper, in direct partnership with Arizona State University, to develop new applications for this technology, including potential land and ocean monitoring to support coastal zone and coral reef management, precision agriculture, biodiversity and fire and water resources management.

“The Carbon Mapper satellites combined with ASU’s advanced algorithms and the Global Airborne Observatory will create a unique, comprehensive overview of critical ecosystems,” said Professor Greg Asner, Director of the Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science with ASU’s Global Futures Laboratory and Chief Science Officer at Carbon Mapper. “With advanced mapping of greenhouse gas emissions and regions of human activity, governments and conservation organizations will know where to focus resources and how best to inform policies to implement both urgent and long-term climate and biodiversity actions.”

The urgent need for dramatic improvements in emissions monitoring and mitigation to track progress by 2030 requires a wholeness in society, including private companies, public entities, philanthropy and non-governmental organizations. As such, Carbon Mapper is designed to continuously locate, quantify and track 80% of global methane and CO2 “superemitters” – a relatively small fraction of facilities that contribute disproportionately to total emissions. The constellation’s agility and flexible targeting also allow for rapid follow-up on hotspots identified by mapping satellites in major areas, such as the European Sentinel series and the Environmental Defense Fund’s MethaneSAT. Carbon Mapper is intended to serve as an important part of an emerging global system of monitoring systems and complement other programs.

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