This TED Talk heralds a new era in fighting climate change, from space

Watch this video to learn about a bold, new initiative to combat global warming.

EDF and partners are launching a rocket to put a new satellite in orbit that could change the course of global warming in our lifetimes.

MethaneSAT will gather data about a pollutant – methane – that’s warming the planet, and put that data in the hands of people who can easily fix the problem.

EDF President Fred Krupp unveiled the groundbreaking project at TED’s flagship event in Vancouver, British Columbia, as part of The Audacious Project, successor to the TED Prize.

Just the first step will have the same near-term climate benefit as shutting down one third of the world’s coal-fired power plants.

Fred Krupp, EDF President
Fred Krupp, EDF President

Our goal is to cut methane emissions 45 percent by 2025, and the data gathered by this satellite will make that possible. Nothing else will have the same kind of near-term impact at such a low cost.

The power of information

To learn the magnitude of the problem with methane, we collected data with drones, planes, helicopters, even Google Street View cars. It turned out that emissions are up to five times higher than what government is reporting.

So we didn't wait for Washington. We published our research, shared it with everyone and saw them take action. Leading oil and gas companies replaced valves and tightened loose-fitting pipes. Colorado became the first state to limit methane pollution. California followed suit, and the public joined in.

By bringing the right people to the table – and leveraging the best of technology, science, data and partnerships – we were able to make the invisible visible, empowering everyone. This enabled us to find new solutions that can be taken to scale and make a lasting impact.

And that's what the emerging Fourth Wave of environmentalism is all about.

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