Impact Investing Trends in 2019 Include Greater Focus On Gender

By Aaron Clark ( with inputs from Bloomberg )
May 7, 2019

A wave of satel­lites set to orbit Earth will be able to pin­point pro­duc­ers of green­house gas­es, right down to an indi­vid­ual leak on an oil rig.

More than a dozen gov­ern­ments and com­pa­nies already have or are plan­ning to launch satel­lites that mea­sure con­cen­tra­tions of methane, which is blamed for about one quar­ter of man-made glob­al warm­ing. They are try­ing to track even indi­vid­ual facil­i­ties to iden­ti­fy the biggest con­trib­u­tors to cli­mate change.

Space-based tech­nolo­gies are allow­ing us for the first time to quick­ly and cheap­ly mea­sure green­house gas­es,” said Mark Brown­stein, a senior vice-pres­i­dent at Envi­ron­men­tal Defense Fund, which plans to launch its Methane­SAT in 2021. “Often­times, both gov­ern­ment and indus­try are not ful­ly aware of the mag­ni­tude of the oppor­tu­ni­ty to cut emis­sions. With that data, they can take action.”

Reg­u­la­tors are tak­ing note. Cal­i­for­nia is part­ner­ing with Plan­et Labs Inc. on a satel­lite to help it “pin­point indi­vid­ual methane plumes” from oil and gas facil­i­ties, as well as oth­er sources, such as land­fills, dairies and waste-water plants, Stan­ley Young, a spokesman for the state’s Air Resources Board, said in an email.

Cal­i­for­nia was the site of the largest nat­ur­al gas leak in US his­to­ry in 2015 when a bro­ken well out­side Los Ange­les owned by Sem­pra Ener­gy released more than 100,000 tons of methane before being plugged, fed­er­al and uni­ver­si­ty researchers said in a study pub­lished in Sci­ence the fol­low­ing year. In August, the util­i­ty esti­mat­ed costs asso­ci­at­ed with the leak at $1.01 bil­lion (around ₹7,042 crore).

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