Basque Country selected by Climate Group for an international project to measure emissions via satellite


The Basque Country, as a leading member of the Under2 coalition and the secretariat for which is Climate Group, is among the six regions participating in this initiative alongside Abruzzo (Italy), Jalisco (Mexico), Pernambuco (Brazil), Querétaro (Mexico) and the province of Western Cape (South Africa).

Using satellite images and machine learning technology capable of identifying gas emissions in images, the STARRS international pilot project will measure emissions of CO2 in all sectors, methane from oil, or gas and nitrous oxide from synthetic fertilisers, among others.

Likewise, Climate Group will work with the six regions to support the planning and launch of tailored strategies to start, improve or accelerate climate action within each territorial jurisdiction. During the deployment of the project, each region will set itself a target, such as improving its climate change mitigation strategies.

The Basque Country's selection is an opportunity to fine-tune the data that make up the Basque Country's Greenhouse Gas Inventory, published annually by the Public Society of Environmental Management of the Basque Government, Ihobe, and the Basque Energy Board (EVE). The historical trajectory of this tool highlights the role and commitment that the Basque Country has taken on in this matter, surpassing the framework of competences by carrying out a task that United Nations only requests from states.

In October 2021, Ihobe published the last inventory, corresponding to the year 2019, as well as the disaggregated results for the historical territories of the Basque Country.

Direct and independent observation

The Climate TRACE emissions inventory is the first comprehensive accounting of greenhouse gas emissions, mainly based on direct and independent observation. Based on an innovative, open and accessible approach, its field of action focuses on technological advances to cover the knowledge gaps that are critical for all the countries that depend on the self-report mosaic system, which is used as a basis for most existing emissions inventories.

The Basque Country’s participation in this project entails recognition within the close international cooperation it maintains with Climate Group, a network that includes more than 500 multinational companies in 175 markets around the world. This entity is part of the Under2 Coalition, formed by more than 260 governments that represent 1.75 billion people and 50% of the world's economy.

The STARRS project, also funded by the ClimateWorks foundation and, was officially launched in February 2022 with the first working meetings and it is expected to end with the publication of the preliminary results in early 2023.