Geospatial Insight on-track to assist with the UK’s net zero commitments

In the aftermath of COP26, global leaders and their nations set to work to meet historic pledges to significantly reduce emissions and reduce fossil fuel reliance. The UK has previously committed to reducing emissions by at least 78% by 2035 and be net-zero by 2050 – so how can we ensure these targets are achieved?

The UK Government is backing ground-breaking space technology to help in the fight against climate change, with the UK Space Agency announcing further funding for a number of trailblazing projects through the National Space Innovation Programme (NSIP). Eleven UK organisations have been awarded a share of £7 million to support the development of space-based innovations that mainly tackle climate change-related issues. Geospatial Insight was named as one of the organisations to receive significant funding through the NSIP to develop GHGWatch, a revolutionary solution to the detection and monitoring of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

As we know, greenhouse gases are the driving factor causing increasing global temperatures, but the detection and ongoing monitoring of critical emission sites has always been both problematic and expensive. Partnering with the University of Leicester, we have been developing GHGWatch, a multi-satellite solution to detect and monitor greenhouse gas emissions, focussing initially on methane. Having utilised NSIP funding to support the initial, highly successful development phase, the second tranche of NSIP funding is a welcome contribution to allow us to move towards the implementation stage.

Building on these strong foundations, we are now working on refining our space-based solution to detect, quantify and monitor point source plume emitters of greenhouse gases and further enhance a solution targeted at commercial users in the oil, gas and ‘green’ finance sectors. 

Once deployed commercially, GHGWatch will support the drive to meet the UK’s net-zero targets by:

  • Delivering a solution that leverages access to a wide range of space assets to detect and monitor point-source methane emission sites around the globe, allowing users to easily use outputs that are benchmarked, qualified and evidence based.
  • Developing a ‘go-to’ standard international index for companies to be rated, compared and encouraged to take strides in emissions reduction
  • Providing data to support the evolution and monitoring of additional UK climate change objectives
  • Creating additional, high-value jobs within the UK space sector

The UK Government is committed to supporting the skills and technologies that exist within the UK Space sector that will make a real difference in addressing the global challenge of climate change. Funded programmes like the NSIP are crucial to provide private companies and educational institutions with the resources they need to upscale their innovations from conception to operational reality, and through the support of UK Space Agency, we at Geospatial Insight, now have the opportunity to do so – working towards a cleaner, greener future.

This activity is funded by the UK Space Agency’s National Space Innotvation Programme.