Tue. Feb 27th, 2024
New Opportunities Arise for Earth Observation Satellites in the Climate Change Era

With nearly 1,200 Earth observation satellites in orbit, capturing vast amounts of data to monitor environmental and economic changes, companies in this industry are now seeking climate-focused customers to leverage the potential of space data for both their businesses and the planet.

At a recent World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the crucial role of satellites in understanding climate change was discussed. The WEF published a paper titled “Space for Net Zero,” emphasizing the significance of satellites in addressing climate challenges.

Brett Loubert, a Deloitte partner and head of the company’s space practice, hosted a panel at the forum, highlighting the need for Earth observation satellite operators to attract new users and customers. These companies are actively reaching out to corporations, nonprofits, and other groups to educate them about the diverse applications of satellite data, including tracking assets like forests and emissions. They are also exploring the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate data analysis and derive greater value.

While traditional defense and intelligence contracts remain important, there is a growing demand for climate-related data, precision agriculture insights, and ESG reporting requirements. Companies now require objective information to validate their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance claims, ensuring they are genuine and not mere “greenwashing.”

Satellite operators are deploying instruments capable of detecting and monitoring greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. Although U.S. government agencies provide substantial data at no cost, there is an increasing need for more specialized use cases that necessitate private investment, such as methane emissions tracking.

To build a robust customer base, Earth observation satellite operators are rolling out open platforms to demonstrate commercial value and reduce entry barriers. This aligns with the broader industry objective of engaging various stakeholders after substantial investments in satellite and ground systems.

The recent WEF panel on the Earth observation market emphasized the importance of ongoing dialogue between data suppliers, users, and financiers. By exposing more people to the potential use cases of satellite data, the industry aims to drive momentum in climate action and sustainability.

Advancements in AI models and computing have the potential to create a new class of applications for satellite data. Just as ChatGPT revolutionized language models, the development of user-friendly interfaces will enable business users to access valuable insights, democratizing the benefits beyond data scientists.

While technology gaps are narrowing, collective action and significant investment remain necessary to fully realize the potential benefits. Earth observation satellites play a critical role in achieving climate goals and addressing the challenges of the climate change era.

FAQ Section:

Q: What is the role of satellites in understanding climate change?
A: Satellites play a crucial role in understanding climate change by capturing vast amounts of data to monitor environmental and economic changes.

Q: What was discussed at the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos?
A: The WEF meeting discussed the significance of satellites in addressing climate challenges and published a paper titled “Space for Net Zero” on the topic.

Q: What is the need for Earth observation satellite operators?
A: Earth observation satellite operators need to attract new users and customers by reaching out to corporations, nonprofits, and other groups to educate them about the diverse applications of satellite data.

Q: How are satellite operators integrating artificial intelligence and machine learning?
A: Satellite operators are exploring the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate data analysis and derive greater value from satellite data.

Q: What is the demand for climate-related data and ESG reporting?
A: There is a growing demand for climate-related data, precision agriculture insights, and ESG reporting requirements as companies seek objective information to validate their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance claims.

Q: What kind of instruments are satellite operators deploying?
A: Satellite operators are deploying instruments capable of detecting and monitoring greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane emissions.

Q: How are Earth observation satellite operators building a customer base?
A: Earth observation satellite operators are rolling out open platforms to demonstrate commercial value and reduce entry barriers to attract customers.

Q: What is the objective of the industry in engaging various stakeholders?
A: The industry aims to engage various stakeholders to drive momentum in climate action and sustainability by exposing more people to the potential use cases of satellite data.

Q: How can advancements in AI models and computing benefit satellite data applications?
A: Advancements in AI models and computing have the potential to create a new class of applications for satellite data, enabling business users to access valuable insights beyond data scientists.

Q: What role do Earth observation satellites play in achieving climate goals?
A: Earth observation satellites play a critical role in achieving climate goals and addressing the challenges of the climate change era.

Definitions:
– Earth observation satellites: Satellites designed to monitor and collect data about the Earth’s surface, atmosphere, and environment from space.
– ESG reporting: Reporting on a company’s environmental, social, and governance performance to assess its sustainability and ethical practices.
– Greenwashing: The practice of making misleading or unsubstantiated claims about the environmental benefits of a product, service, or company.
– Methane emissions tracking: Monitoring and tracking the emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, to measure and reduce its impact on climate change.

Suggested related links:
World Economic Forum
Deloitte’s Space Practice
NASA Earth Observatory
ESG Reporting Solutions