Scientific consensus from a 2015 pre-Decadal Survey workshop highlighted the essential need for a wide-swath (mapping) low earth orbit (LEO) instrument delivering carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and carbon monoxide (CO) measurements with global coverage. OCO-2 pioneered space-based CO2 remote sensing, but lacks the CH4, CO and mapping capabilities required for an improved understanding of the global carbon cycle. The Carbon Balance Observatory (CARBO) advances key technologies to enable high-performance, cost-effective solutions for a space-based carbon-climate observing system. CARBO is a compact, modular, 15-30° field of view spectrometer that delivers high-precision CO2, CH4, CO and solar induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) data with weekly global coverage from LEO. CARBO employs innovative immersion grating technologies to achieve diffraction-limited performance with OCO-like spatial (2x2 km2) and spectral (λ/Δλ ≈ 20,000) resolution in a package that is >50% smaller, lighter and more cost-effective. CARBO delivers a 25- to 50-fold increase in spatial coverage compared to OCO-2 with no loss of detection sensitivity. Individual CARBO modules weigh < 20 kg, opening diverse new space-based platform opportunities.