‘No excuse’: IEA tells fossil fuel industry over methane leaks

(EurActiv, 21 Feb 2023) The fossil fuel industry is failing to tackle methane emissions despite its pledges to uncover and fix leaking infrastructure, according to a report by the International Energy Agency released on Tuesday (21 February).

In 2022, the global energy industry released into the atmosphere some 135 million tonnes of methane – a potent greenhouse gas responsible for roughly a third of the rise in global temperatures since the industrial revolution.

Last year’s emissions were only slightly below the record high amount released in 2019, despite a backdrop of high energy prices and surging demand for natural gas that provided extra incentives to capture methane, the report said.

Methane is the main component of natural gas, so captured emissions can be sold as fuel.

Although some progress has been made, “emissions are still far too high and not falling fast enough – especially as methane cuts are among the cheapest options to limit near-term global warming,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said in a statement. “There is just no excuse.”

The energy sector accounts for about 40% of all methane emissions from human activity, second to agriculture.

The IEA said methane emissions from oil and gas alone could be reduced by three-quarters with existing technologies and modest investment of less than 3% of the income gained by oil and gas companies worldwide last year.

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EurActiv, 21 Feb 2023: ‘No excuse’: IEA tells fossil fuel industry over methane leaks