Carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) are the most important of the greenhouse gases that are directly influenced by human activities. The Integrated Path Differential Absorption (IPDA) lidar technique using hard target reflection in the near IR (1.57μm and 1.64μm) to measure the column-averaged dry air mixing ratio of CO2 and CH4 with high precision and low bias has the potential to deliver measurements from space and air that are needed to understand the sources and sinks of these greenhouse gases. CO2 and CH4 IPDA require tunable laser sources at 1.57 μm and 1.64 μm that coincide with appropriate absorption lines of these species having high pulse energy and average power as well as excellent spectral and spatial properties. Within this study we have realized more than 50mJ of pulse energy in the near IR coincident with appropriate absorption lines using an injection-seeded optical parametric oscillator-amplifier system pumped at 100 Hz. At the same time this device showed excellent spectral and spatial properties. Bandwidths of less than 100 MHz with a high degree of spectral purity (> 99.9 %) have been achieved. The frequency stability was likewise excellent. The M2-factor was better than 2.3. Owing to these outstanding properties optical parametric devices are currently under investigation for the CH4 lidar instrument on the projected French-German climate satellite MERLIN. A similar device is under development at DLR for the lidar demonstrator CHARM-F which will enable the simultaneous measurement of CO2 and CH4 from an airborne platform.© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.