The UK and French space agencies have joined forces to work together to tackle climate change.
The MicroCarb co-operation agreement is a satellite mission which will measure sources and sinks of carbon, the principal greenhouse gas driving global warming.
According to the UK Space Agency, it is the first European mission intended to characterise greenhouse gas fluxes on Earth’s surface and gauge how much carbon is being absorbed by oceans and forests, the main sinks on the planet.
Scheduled to launch in 2020, the mission will also contribute to international efforts to measure how much carbon is being emitted by natural processes and human activities.
The UK is investing £10 million in the project, with the University of Leicester and University of Edinburgh also representing the nation on the joint science team.
Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said: “UK collaboration with France on MicroCarb provides an excellent platform to demonstrate cutting-edge British science, our commitment to climate policy and a productive relationship with a key European partner.
“The UK space sector is alive with talent and opportunity and through our modern Industrial Strategy, we are ensuring the UK remains a vital contributor to international space research.”