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Renewed climate change fight bodes well for Earth observation sectors

Renewed climate change fight bodes well for Earth observation sectors

TAMPA, Fla. — Companies that build or operate Earth observation satellites foresee busier days ahead as governments, and businesses, step up climate change initiatives.

Geospatial monitoring is key for tracking, understanding and ultimately cutting greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to what is increasingly seen as an environmental emergency.

U.S. President Joe Biden set a target April 22 for the country to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% levels by 2030. The pledge came three months after Biden signed an executive order committing the United States to rejoin the Paris Agreement, a global partnership aiming to drive action on climate change.

The emissions goal, announced during a virtual climate summit of world leaders convened by Biden, delays the Obama administration’s deadline by five years but nearly doubles the amount of greenhouse gas emissions the United States aims to cut relative to 2005 levels.

Meanwhile, businesses are increasingly reporting greenhouse targets in their financial accounts — voluntarily — as more investors are using them in their evaluations.

But self-policing will not be enough because it takes only a few rogue players to deteriorate an industry’s environmental footprint, according to Antoine Rostand, CEO of satellite imagery analysis provider Kayrros.

“A strong regulatory framework is also needed to ensure a level playing field and set clear incentives and performance indicators for all companies to accelerate abatement and avoid the worse effects of global warming,” Rostand said.

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“Energy companies and industry organizations understand this and are coming out in favor of methane regulations.”
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