A roadmap towards smart EO services for CO2 inventorying and control

Short Description

Starting point / motivation

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, stated that the aim of Europe is to be the first climate neutral continent in the world, by 2050 and to cut EU greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. To achieve this goal and to fulfil the international commitment under the Paris Agreement, actions in all sectors of the economy will be required.

Countries reporting to the UNFCCC must prepare annual National Inventory Reports, reporting on six land use categories (Forestland, Cropland, Grassland, Wetland, Settlements, Other land) and changes and their threshold GHG emissions. So far, global models and national GHG inventories use different methods to estimate anthropogenic CO2 emissions and removals, leading to heterogeneous national approaches.

With the European flagship initiative Copernicus, a core set of LULC data is generated on a free and open basis. However, spatially and thematically more detailed LULC data, is required by departments of public administration. With the realisation of the new Copernicus CO2Monitoring Mission (CO2M) the European Copernicus program will be extended by two satellites, which shall enable the quantification of anthropogenic CO2 emissions and their trends.

Contents and goals

The ultimate goal of CO2M is to provide an independent information source to enable, verify and consolidate the global stock takes of GHG emissions. The major challenge for the application of the CO2M data will be that it is not known which category of sink or source is being measured, hence no inventory category is associated with the S-7 Level-2 data.


The envisaged ASAP17 exploratory project smartCO2 aims at evaluating the requirements, gaps and challenges for being able to inventory (i.e. localize and classify) sink or source categories at local scale (Sentinel-2 resolution) for public and commercial applications. The topic shall be studied and documented by Austrian and international experts from a technical, social and economic dimension.

In a unique collaboration between the Austrian (GeoVille) and Canadian EO industry (GHGSAT), a solution shall be designed for requirements by national GHG reporting agencies, i.e. Umweltbundesamt (UBA). Together with our key user UBA and our partner JOANNEUM RESEARCH we will analyse and gather those key requirements for the national reporting.

Additionally, to the GHG reporting aspect, the consortia of smartCO2 will put a second emphasis on the evaluation of carbon trade off markets, with a special focus on forest carbon. Together with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) we will evaluate the potential for establishing a forest carbon offset market controlling and verification service.

Expected results

The ultimate future goal of smartCO2 is to establish the baseline for developing and demonstrating online CO2M monitoring, inventory converter and control services.

smartCO2 would thereby add significant value to the CO2M mission enabling direct applicability for building and verifying national inventories as well as improved monitoring and control of heavy energy emitters.

smartCO2 will put the Austrian EO industry as well as CO2 researchers at the forefront of solution providers to one of the core societal challenges of the century.

Project Partners


GeoVille Informationssysteme und Datenverarbeitung

Project partner

  • Joanneum Research
  • Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung

Contact Address

GeoVille Informationssysteme und Datenverarbeitung
Dr. Phillipp Rastner
Sparkassenplatz 2
A-6020 Innsbruck