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Report: CO₂ - An Operational Anthropogenic CO₂ emissions - Monitoring & Verification Support Capacity

CO₂ Monitoring

Copernicus – Europe’s eyes on Earth - is the largest environmental space programme ever designed and operated in Europe to monitor our dynamic Earth.


As such, we are acutely aware that one of the largest challenges mankind faces today concerns the Earth’s climate and the manner in which it responds in a complex and sophisticated manner to the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere associated with anthropogenic emissions.


In 2015, in anticipation of COP-21, a study was commissioned from a group of international experts. This study resulted in a series of recommendations addressing the needs of an operational CO₂ emission monitoring system strongly underpinned by space-based observations.


As a consequence the Commission set up a specific task force to elaborate on the space-based and ground-based elements required to set up an operational capacity in support of the monitoring and verification of the anthropogenic CO₂ emissions. This operational capacity shall, for instance, provide Europe and each individual country with a unique and unprecedented asset in evaluating the implementation and effectiveness of the many CO₂ emission reduction strategies proposed by each of the signatories of the Paris Agreement.


Copernicus is extremely grateful to the group of distinguished experts who developed the current report, bringing together the key European players involved in the development of the individual system components to contribute to this common goal. Cooperation was also sought at an international level with other relevant institutions to join forces and share scientific and technical knowledge and means using the most appropriate frameworks.





This report serves as a first step in advancing the definition and development of the envisaged system, by providing an insight into the underpinning requirements and foundational building blocks required. The responsibility and long-term commitment in building this system for the greater benefit of European and international community is acknowledged and understood.  We are committed to continuing in this endeavour more will be heard from us in the future.


This Copernicus CO₂ initiative constitutes a significant positive step in the direction given by President Jean-Claude Juncker in his State of the Union Address in 2017:


" I want Europe to be the leader when it comes to the fight against climate change. "



Download the report here.


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