As a kind of huge environmental risk source, tailings pond could cause a huge environmental disaster to the downstream area once an accident happened on it. Therefore it has become one key target of the environmental regulation in china. Especially, recently environmental emergencies caused by tailings pond are growing rapidly in China, the environmental emergency management of the tailings pond has been confronting with a severe situation. However, the regulatory agency is badly weak in the environmental regulation of tailings pond, due to the using of ground surveys and statistics which is costly, laborious and time consuming, and the lacking of strong technical and information support. Therefore, in this paper, according to the actual needs of the environmental emergency management of tailings pond, we firstly make a brief analysis of the characteristics of the tailings pond and the advantages and capability of remote sensing technology, and then proposed a comprehensive and systematic indexes system and the method of environmental risk monitoring of tailings pond based on remote sensing and GIS. The indexes system not only considers factors from the upstream area, the pond area and the downstream area in a perspective of the risk space theory, but also considers factors from risk source, risk receptor and risk control mechanism in a perspective of risk systems theory. Given that Zhangjiakou city has up to 580 tailings pond and is nearly located upstream of the water source of Beijing, so finally we apply the proposed indexes system and method in Zhangjiakou area in China to help collect environmental risk data of tailings pond in that area and find out it works well. Through the use case in Zhajiakou, the technique of using remote sensing to monitor environmental risk of tailings pond is feasible and effective, and would contribute to the establishment of ‘Space-Ground’ monitoring network of tailings pond in future.