Bloomberg Philanthropies marks climate change among one of its most important missions. According to the organization’s website, the program “brings together a wide range of partners, including cities, businesses, public health and environmental advocates, and citizen’s groups, to address some of the most serious threats to our environment, including climate change.” Now the organization has teamed up with the state of California, which is known for having an aggressive climate agenda, in order to help achieve their mutual goals.
Bloomberg Philanthropies announced their partnership with San Francisco-based Planet, a company that currently has the most Earth-observing satellites in orbit. Planet will help California monitor the environmental conditions through satellite images. The high-resolution satellite will help pinpoint large emissions of pollutants, including methane, which is considered a “super pollutant.” It will also be able to detect larger emissions which may indicate if something like a storage site or an oil well is leaking.
“We really see the potential in the kind of imaging that Planet can bring combined with California’s appetite to actually then use that info,” Antha Williams, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ head of environment programs stated. “That really provides a model for what certainly other states across the U.S. could be doing but (also) other jurisdictions around the world.”
The partnership began as a result of former Governor Jerry Brown’s commitment to the state’s “carbon neutrality” by 2045. Current Governor Gavin Newsom has also expanded the charge to include the monitoring of forest health, which will help the state determine the risk for wildfires that have plagued California in recent years. California’s satellite is approximately 2-3 years from launching.
Bloomberg Philanthropies hopes that gathering this information will translate and expand to informing climate change policy not only in California, but throughout the world.