CCAC Waste Hub - Insight Meeting


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. A brief summary of some of the key points raised in the presentations and in the Q&A session alongside biographies of the presenters are as follows: 


Summary of Presentations

Dr. Oksana Tarasova – World Meteorological Organization (WMO) 

  • 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) 

  • 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 (secretariat [at]  

About the Presenters

About Oksana

Dr Oksana Tarasova works in the World Meteorological Orgainzation since 2009. She is a Senior Scientific Officer in the Infrastructure Department since August 2022 working on the development of the concept of the Global Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Infrastructure, she was a Head of the Atmospheric Environment Research Division in Science and Innovation Department from 2014 to 2022. She has a background in Physics and PhD in Atmosphere Physics, worked in Lomonosov Moscow State University and Max-Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany. She served as a President of the Atmospheric Sciences Division of the European Geoscience Union, as a co-chair of the Task Force on Measurements and Modelling of LRTAP Convention, she is currently a member of multiple advisory boards and research projects. She is an author and co-author of over 100 publications. 

About Ilse

Dr. Aben is a senior scientist in the Earth group at SRON. The group focuses primarily on the interpretation of satellite remote sensing data of greenhouse gases (CO2 and methane) and related species as part of the Carbon cycle research. Dr. Aben is the Dutch Co-Principal Investigator and co-initiator of the TROPOMI instrument on the Sentinel-5 Precursor mission. She leads the SRON TROPOMI team responsible for safeguarding the scientific performance of the TROPOMI SWIR channel measuring CO and methane. The team has in the past defined the SWIR science requirements, instrument requirements, provided support to instrument development and trade-offs, calibration of the SWIR channel, and development of the SWIR L2 algorithms. Dr. Aben is responsible for a number of projects in her group focusing on detection and emission quantification of methane localised and area sources funded through different funding agencies (NWO, UNEP, EDF, ESA), and several projects for the delivery of methane products from different satellites (ECMWF CAMS and C3S, ESA CCI+).

About Carolina

Carolina has more than 15 years of work experience in the development of public policy, studies, projects, advice on climate change and sustainability. For the last 4 years, she was Head of the Climate Change Division of the Ministry of the Environment, leading the participatory and science-based design of transversal and transformative policies and instruments such as the Climate Change Framework Law of Chile, approved unanimously in Congress Chile being the first country in Latin America to have the goal of carbon neutrality and climate resilience established by law. In addition to Chile’s climate management instruments such as the update of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), the first Long-Term Climate Strategy, the Climate Risk Atlas at the community level, the first Regional Action Plans against Climate Change, among others. These increase Chile’s ambition to face climate change, taking advantage of sustainable development opportunities and seeking to achieve compliance with our international commitments, with Chile being one of the first countries in the world to incorporate concrete circular economy commitments into its climate instruments. Previously, she was part of the WSP consultancy advising on the implementation of projects to reduce methane emissions in agriculture and waste, among others.