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An EU strategy to reduce methane emissions

Last updated: 21 January 2022

This strategy outlines a set of cross-sector and sector-specific actions to pursue significant reductions in methane emissions from the EU’s energy, agriculture and waste management sectors and to promote further methane abatement efforts through international cooperation. The EU Methane Strategy is premised on Article 16 of the Regulation on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action, the European Green Deal Communication and the Paris Agreement.

 

  The following cross-sectoral actions are outlined:

  • Improve companies` measurement and reporting of methane emissions;
  • Establish an independent international methane emissions observatory for collecting, reconciling, verifying and publishing anthropogenic methane emissions data at a global level;
  • Strengthen satellite-based detection and monitoring of methane emissions through the EU’s Copernicus programme;
  • Review relevant EU climate and environmental legislation to more effectively address methane-related emissions, notably the Industrial Emissions Directive and the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register;
  • Accelerate the development of the market for biogas from sustainable sources such as manure or organic waste and residues via upcoming policy initiatives.

 

The following actions are outlined for the energy sector, covering the oil, gas and coal supply chains:

  • Deliver legislative proposals in 2021 on two issues – compulsory measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) for all energy-related methane emissions, building on the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership (OGMP 2.0) methodology; and obligations to improve leak detection and repair (LDAR) of leaks on all fossil gas infrastructure, as well as any other infrastructure that produces, transports or uses fossil gas;
  • Consider legislation on eliminating routine venting and flaring in the energy sector covering the full supply chain;
  • Work to extend the OGMP framework to more companies in the gas and oil upstream, midstream and downstream as well as to the coal sector and closed or abandoned sites;
  • Promote remedial work under the initiative for Coal Regions in Transition.

 

The following international actions are included:

  • Increase transparency in the energy sector by working with international partners to develop a Methane Supply Index in the foreseen international methane emissions observatory;
  • Consider methane emission reduction targets, standards or other incentives for fossil energy consumed and imported in the EU in the absence of significant commitments from international partners;
  • Establish a detection-and-alert process for methane super-emitters using EU satellite capability, and share this information internationally through the foreseen international methane emissions observatory;
  • Support cooperation with international partners, including the Global Methane Initiative, the World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction initiative, and the World Bank’s initiative on Zero Routine Flaring by 2030, as well as the International Energy Agency.

 

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