Government of Canada supports world-leading Canadian satellite-based emissions detection system

News release

Photo of 7 dignitaries for the Conference
Left to right: Patricia Fuller, Ambassador for Climate Change; Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources; Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change; Stephane Germain, President and CEO of GHGSat; Hubert Bolduc, President, Investissement Québec International; Simonetta Cheli, European Space Agency (ESA), Earth Observation Programmes Head of Strategy, Programme & Coordination Office; Toni Tolker-Nielsen, ESA, Acting Director of Earth Observations Programmes. Photo credit: Philippe Lapointe

Investment supports GHGSat, a leading Canadian cleantech company, and will help Canada meet its ambitious climate objectives

November 3, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario

Canada’s cleantech entrepreneurs are proving their power to take on today’s environmental challenges. Working in partnership with innovative companies, the Government of Canada is supporting the growth of a greener economy.

Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced an investment of $20 million in GHGSat, of Montréal, Quebec, through Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). This is the third SDTC investment in GHGSat and part of a long-standing collaboration that has helped the company become an international leader in its sector.

GHGSat will use this funding to expand its fleet of high-tech satellites that track greenhouse gas emissions from the Earth’s orbit. Its space-based system for greenhouse gas monitoring uses spectrometer imaging to obtain high-resolution images of methane emissions. This technology will provide critical information to take action in the fight against climate change.

GHGSat also plans to establish secure infrastructure to manage its growing constellation of satellites and transform its data into high-value information products and analytics. Using its microsatellites, GHGSat is the only entity in the world capable of detecting methane emissions from sources 100 times smaller than those detected by other satellites. Its technology can detect and quantify methane emissions from point sources as small as individual oil and gas wells. 

The Government of Canada is committed to investing in clean technology that lays the foundation for a stronger, greener and more sustainable economy that creates opportunities for all Canadians. Today’s investments will help grow our economy while supporting Canada’s ability to meet its 2030 climate commitments and reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.


“There couldn’t be a better time to invest in a greener, more sustainable future for all Canadians. Our investment in GHGSat today will boost Canada’s leadership in climate technology and help this outstanding Canadian company shine on the global stage. It is a true Canadian success story.”
- The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Reducing methane emissions is one of the fastest and cheapest ways to slow the rate of warming and fight climate change. That’s why this investment comes at such a critical time. This week at the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), Canada joined a number of other countries in signing on to the Global Methane Pledge, while committing to a world-leading 75% reduction below 2012 levels in methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 2030. Canadian innovations, such as GHGSat’s trailblazing satellite technology, can help track emissions and keep us on course. This Montréal-based start-up shows how Canadian business leadership and innovation will help create new opportunities as we work together for a more sustainable future.”
- The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“World leaders have recognized the reduction of methane emissions as a top priority in addressing climate change. As we head into COP26, we will need better data to make informed decisions and to take action. Using satellite technology, GHGSat has demonstrated its leadership in identifying methane leaks around the world. With today’s funding, SDTC is proud to continue supporting GHGSat as it takes its methane monitoring and analytics to the next level.”
- Leah Lawrence, President and CEO of SDTC

Quick facts

  • Around 30% of global warming is attributed to methane from human activity. The amount of methane in the atmosphere has tripled in the last century.

  • A significant amount of anthropogenic methane is released by accident or through equipment failure. The challenge is to locate it quickly. Remote sensing from space is one solution.

  • Clean technology companies currently employ more than 211,000 Canadians in rewarding, well-paying jobs.

  • SDTC is an independent federal foundation that funds companies with the potential to become world leaders in environmental technologies and to help solve some of the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges, such as climate change and polluted air, water and soil.

  • SDTC is Canada’s largest funder of clean technology entrepreneurs, and its support makes a significant difference in today’s hyper-competitive global market.

  • SDTC has invested more than $1.38 billion in 460 companies that have generated $2.8 billion in annual revenues, created 16,930 jobs, brought 177 new technologies to market and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 22.4 megatons of CO2 annually, which is equivalent to taking almost 7 million cars off the road every year.

  • The world is taking notice of Canada’s leadership in clean technology: eleven Canadian companies, nine of which have been funded by SDTC, were placed on the 2021 Global Cleantech 100 list.

Associated links


John Power
Senior Manager, Communications and Media Relations
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Media Relations
Sustainable Development Technology Canada

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