California To Launch Climate Satellite

California intends to launch a satellite to track down greenhouse gas emitters who fuel global warming. California Governor Jerry Brown made the announcement on the final day of the Global Climate Action Summit, a gathering of nearly 5,000 environmentalists, elected officials, corporate chiefs and activists from five continents. Brown’s office said the satellite will be launched by 2021.

The satellite will be used to track and detect the sources of climate pollutants. The government would then use the data to detect chronic problems and develop policies to abate them. According to the statement from Brown’s office, data from the satellite would be shared with governments and others under a new initiative called the Climate Data Partnership.

California will be teaming up with earth imaging company Planet Labs to develop the technology. Initial funding for the project has been provided by the Overlook International Foundation, run by philanthropists Dee and Richard Lawrence, as well as The Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust. Additional business and philanthropic partners are expected to join the initiative, the statement said.

California’s Air Resources Board will also be lending its expertise to the initiative, according to the statement. The Air Resources Board has been instrumental in the development of climate-related innovations in the state. Brown did not give a detailed timeline or cost for the project when he made the announcement.

It has been a busy week for Brown on the climate-change front. Brown also signed a bill compelling California to eventually derive 100 percent of its electricity from clean sources this week. Other bills he signed seek to augment the number of clean cars on the road. Brown, 80, will leave office in January at the end of his fourth term in office.

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