Oil and gas methane emissions off track

(Foresight Climate & Energy, 22 Jul 2019) As the International Energy Agency launches its Methane Portal, Poppy Kalesi, Director of Global Energy at the Environmental Defense Fund, calls on EU decision makers to make the most of all regulatory opportunities to force reductions in methane emissions.

MethaneSAT, a subsidiary of the Environmental Defense Fund, is developing a satellite to locate and measure methane from oil and gas operations almost anywhere on Earth

With EU decision makers waking up to the risks to our climate posed by methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, the question now is what to do about them. Fortunately, there is a wide assortment of tools and technologies that can help and they are now available in the Methane Portal, launched by the International Energy Agency (IEA) on 16 July 2019. The bad news is, like the oil and gas methane problem in general, a new report by the IEA shows the energy industry is lagging way behind the curve, failing to pick up available technologies at the pace needed to deliver on the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario, which would limit global warming in line with the Paris climate agreement.

As the European Commission prepares a major package of gas market reforms with an eye towards addressing the sustainability problems of gas, namely carbon dioxide and methane emissions, it is crucial that EU and national policy makers use the IEA Methane Portal to raise clear expectations on industry to address its methane challenge as quickly as possible.

The portal offers an overview of global methane emissions across sectors and a deep dive on the difference to emissions made by the abatement of methane leakage in the oil and gas industry. It also includes a section about available technologies and practices to tackle emissions and, importantly, country specific data based on best available estimates. Crucially, for policy makers, the portal includes a section on regulation, which later in the project will help create a network for the exchange of best practice among regulators.

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Foresight Climate & Energy, 22 Jul 2019: Oil and gas methane emissions off track