Euskadi, selected for an international project to measure GHG emissions by satellite
Euskadi is among the six regions participating in this initiative along with Abruzzo (Italy), Jalisco (Mexico), Pernambuco (Brazil), Querétaro (Mexico) and the Western Cape (South Africa).
Using satellite imagery and artificial intelligence machine learning technology capable of identifying gas emissions in images, the STARRS international pilot project will measure Greenhouse Gas emissions from the following sectors: Energy Transformation (electricity and refining); Transport; some industrial sectors (cement, aluminum, steel); Agriculture, as well as Land Use; Land Use Change and Forestry (USCUSS).
In addition, The Climate Group will work with the six regions to support the planning and implementation of tailored strategies to initiate, enhance or accelerate climate action within each territorial jurisdiction. Each region, during the deployment of the project, will set a goal, such as improving its climate change mitigation strategies.
The system incorporates different types of satellite images (visible light, infrared...) collected by various space agencies and organizations around the world. Artificial intelligence is used to "train" the system to detect indicators of greenhouse gas emissions in the satellite images. The models have been developed by various institutes and universities and have been calibrated using real data and emission inventories.
Recognition for the Basque Country
Satellite-based gas detection is becoming a tool to support inventories calculated "bottom-up" in accordance with the United Nations guidelines for the Calculation of National Inventories.
The choice of Euskadi is an opportunity to refine the data that make up the Greenhouse Gas Inventory of the Basque Country, prepared under UN guidelines, published annually by the Public Society for Environmental Management of the Basque Government, Ihobe, and the Basque Energy Agency (EVE). The historical trajectory of this tool shows the role and commitment that Euskadi has assumed in this matter, going beyond the competence framework by assuming an elaboration that the United Nations only requires from the states.
Euskadi's participation in this project entails a recognition within the close international cooperation it maintains with The 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, made up of more than 260 governments representing 1,750 million people and 50% of the world economy.
The Climate Week NYC
Within the framework of the Climate Week, the Basque delegation is completing an intense agenda in which the Assessor Arantxa Tapia and the delegate of Euskadi in the United States Unai Tellería are making known the comprehensive approach to climate action that requires not only strengthening and expanding the regulatory framework but also maintaining a strong political commitment, funding and cooperation at all levels and among all stakeholders. The Basque Country is one of the 22 regions around the world recognized by the United Nations with the most ambitious goals in terms of emissions reduction and actions to adapt to climate change.
At the Climate Leaders' Reception, the Minister stressed that "to tackle the climate crisis, mitigation and adaptation must go hand in hand: emissions must be drastically reduced, but, at the same time, we must work urgently to adapt our territories to the impacts of climate change that we are already suffering". He recalled that "each time, extreme weather events will be more recurrent, in Euskadi we have gone from a winter with floods and very high levels of precipitation, to a summer that has forced us to activate the first drought plan of Euskadi". According to Tapia "we have to do all this in a fair way, taking into account the population and the most vulnerable geographical areas, based on the principles of co-responsibility and cooperation".
Tapia has also participated in the General Assembly of Under2 Coalition where he has highlighted the future Energy Transition and Climate Change Law of Euskadi that is aligned with European directives and indicators and that will be "the tool that will allow us to advance in the objectives of climate neutrality and resilience of the territory." He has opted for "accelerating in the energy transition, today more urgently than ever, we must move towards renewables" and for the decarbonization of society, recalling that in Euskadi "industry plays a fundamental role". From 2005 to 2020, the business fabric of the Basque Country has managed to reduce its greenhouse gas emission levels by almost 50%.
In this sense, Tapia has highlighted some examples of specific actions such as:
- The Energy Contingency Plan, to contribute to the reduction of gas and energy consumption agreed within the framework of the European Union in the context of the energy alert that Europe is going through, agreed with all the socioeconomic agents and all levels of the Basque administration.
- The Supercluster Net to Zero, an initiative to accelerate the reduction of emissions in the Industrial sector, and the Basque Hydrogen Corridor will allow progress in the decarbonization of the energy, industrial, residential and mobility sectors. Both projects are the result of public-private collaboration.
- Public-public collaboration: active multilevel climate governance to support local entities in the climate-energy transition through Udalsarea 2030, Basque Network of Sustainable Municipalities, which last week celebrated its 20th anniversary. Or the development of transformative projects that have not provided opportunities for additional funding such as LIFE IP URBAN KLIMA 2050.