On 15 February, the CCAC welcomed Dr. Oksana Tarasova, WMO, Dr. Ilse Aben, SRON, and Carolina Urmeneta, Global Methane Hub, to share knowledge on detecting waste methane emissions using satellites and ground monitoring with an emphasis on new opportunities for national governments.
Dr. Oksana Tarasova – World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
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- In 2021, there was a huge spike in methane emissions. Though there are several hypotheses, the most plausible explanation is that an increase has occurred in one or all sources of microbial emissions primarily wetlands, ruminants, or waste.
- There are 2 ways to calculate emissions:
- The “Bottom-up” approach: this provides estimates using site-specific measurements that create a national emissions inventory regulated by the IPCC
- The “Top-down” approach: this provides estimates using atmospheric observations and analysis conducted by research entities
- A good example from Recife, Brazil, and WMO was provided where using ground-based observations from two towers in the city led to the identification of methane emissions from informal waste collection/dumping. Overall, the benefits for Recife included:
- Improved knowledge about the GHG emissions and trends
- Identification of the main emission areas
- Establishing a reliable starting point for planning new policies and actions for NDC goals.
Dr. Ilse Aben, Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON)
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- TROPOMI on ESA’s Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite is ideal for detecting methane super-emitters. In 2021, TROPOMI detected approximately 3,000 plumes. Using this knowledge, GHGSat is now recording more detailed observations over target plumes (e.g., from landfills in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Madrid, Spain).
- Global Methane Hub, SRON and GHGSat started “Phase 1” of a new project working with NGOs and local partners on mitigation in four cities, Casablanca, Istanbul, Sao Paulo, and Hyderabad, to characterize, study and monitor landfills globally.
- Plans are now underway for “Phase 2” to scale up and potentially monitor 10 landfills across Africa, Latin America, and Asia over three years using both TROPOMI and GHGSat observations to provide information about before and after interventions and to assess the effectiveness of measures taken to reduce the methane emissions. This project will:
- Provide a unique opportunity to develop full chain from satellite observations, expert NGOs, and local engagement and interventions
- Contribute to the first blueprint for future satellite supported emission mitigation in waste sector
- Catalyse mitigation interest and activities at other landfills from success-stories.
Carolina Urmeneta, Global Methane Hub (GMH)
- Waste from open dumps and landfills produces high intensity methane emissions
- Global Methane Hub has a number of projects underway, including supporting:
- SRON-Netherlands Institute for Space Research – to target waste emissions observed from space for urban and landfill methane emissions
- Carbon Mapper – to conduct airborne surveys to measure methane emissions at the global scale (results expected June 2023). The goal is to provide routine, actionable methane data for 90% of waste sites globally and help translate that data into emission reduction action
- Global Foodbanking Network – to develop a roadmap for methane emissions reduction through food redistribution
- RMI and CATF – Waste Methane Assessment Platform (WASTE MAP), which is in development to support decision-makers on emissions inventories, etc.
- Global Methane Hub is facilitating the testing of different technologies and business models including:
- Project preparation facilities
- Partnership with multilateral development banks
- Promoting methane mitigation recommendations from IGOs including CCAC and the OECD.
Q&A Session Highlights:
- RMI is developing a waste methane assessment platform and is seeking unpublished data from subnational and national governments. Also, RMI published a report “Key Strategies for Mitigating Methane Emissions from Municipal Solid Waste” that will help establish playbooks for cities and governments for mitigating methane emissions from landfills (e.g., organic waste separation; food waste prevention, landfill gas capture and flaring)
- Capacity building and data access is critical, especially for local scientists. It is important to involve local universities and institutions, not only for informing local stakeholders, but for involving them in data collection, analysis, implementation etc. SRON project data will be publicly available. WMO is working with local scientists to collect data on the ground. Global Methane Hub is working on building local capacity to support their work.
- Countries interested in learning more about engaging with WMO, SRON and Global Methane Hub on measuring methane emissions from landfills should contact the CCAC Secretariat (email@example.com).