Insight | Can space help save the planet?


  • For the first time, Inmarsat, in partnership with world-leading sustainability consultants Globant, has quantified the carbon tonnes per annum that three major sectors could save by using satellite communications technologies.
  • Download our report Can space help save the planet? to see for yourself. You might also find cause for hope as we examine what progress can be made toward Net Zero 2050 goals, and if it is possible to reach them sooner.

When we think about the challenges we face on Earth, the instinct is to look for answers around us. But what if these answers are above us? The astounding findings of the second phase of our ‘What on Earth is the value of space?’ research confirm what we have long believed – that space can play a pivotal role in combatting climate change on Earth. 

To download the full report please click below.

A deep dive into our future

Here is the good news: technology that could help significantly reduce CO2 emissions and take us further towards Net Zero already exists.

Satellites are helping decarbonise to the tune of 1,500,000,000 tonnes (1.5 gigatonnes) of carbon per annum – the equivalent carbon output of the UK, France and Germany combined. But the report clearly shows that there is still more that could be achieved; with existing and new technologies.

Can space help save the planet? quantifies the effect of satellite communications on global CO2 emissions. It proves that satellite technology should form a key pillar of any Net Zero strategy. And, most importantly, it shows that there is space for hope.

Finding the route forward

It will take a concerted effort from governments and private companies to reach the Net Zero 2050 goals. And as was apparent at COP27, it continues to a be a complex challenge. That’s why our research explores how private companies can and should support the drive to reduce CO2 emissions  on Earth, and why satellite-enabled technology should be a key pillar of any Net Zero strategy.

There was talk at COP27 of potentially softening the 2050 Net Zero commitments. In contrast to that, our report has examined how satellite-enabled technology can help us meet – and even beat – those goals. The findings are remarkable.

“When you consider climate change … it is hard not to feel overwhelmed. However, upon reading this report, I hope you will look to the future with an extra measure of optimism. I certainly do.”

Rajeev Suri, CEO, Inmarsat

Efficiencies can be found everywhere

The three key sectors that the report explores amount to an estimated 60% of the world’s carbon emissions:

Industries like Shipping, Aviation and Agriculture are critical to our way of life and they will only continue to grow to meet the demands of our increasingly crowded planet. Consequently, reducing their emissions is the defining challenge of our era.

The report shows that the space sector offers a vast decarbonisation opportunity. Satellite communications, satellite navigation and the Internet of Things have the potential to radically transform how we live, work, produce and transport goods across the globe.

The health of Earth’s orbit is key to the health of Earth

However, realising that potential depends on how governments, international institutions and global businesses come together to make the most of our shared space-based infrastructure – and keep that sustainable as well.

An orbit littered with space debris is not a safe orbit in which to operate. And with around 100,000 launches expected by 2030, it’s vital that we co-ordinate and manage this expansion. Because without sustainability in orbit, there can be no sustainability on Earth.

Explore the full story

Download the full report learn more about the current and potential impact of satellite technology on decarbonisation:

  • How those technologies can propel us towards Net Zero.
  • How Inmarsat is already helping the Maritime, Aviation and Rail industries create operational efficiencies and do more with less impact. 
  • And the real impact of decarbonisation in the Transport and Logistics, Agriculture, and Energy sectors. 

It also sets out five steps for the satellite communications sector. From our responsibility to communicate, clarify and empower the decarbonising capabilities of satellite-enabled technology. To the necessity of stewarding and regulating that technology, so this vital mission isn't jeopardised by our own space debris.

These insights are just a fraction of the information available in the research. To get the complete picture, download the full report

To download the full report please click below.