European Union Methane Action Plan

Last updated: 7 February 2023

Submitted to the Climate & Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), the EU's Methane Action Plan outlines policies and activities that will support the Global Methane Pledge (GMP) to reduce global emissions by 30% by 2030. The EU's long-term policy goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions towards climate neutrality by 2050.
Section 1 of the Plan describes the sources and trends in EU's methane emissions. Data in this section comes from EU greenhouse gas inventories. The agriculture sector represents 54% of methane emissions — the largest source of methane emissions in the EU. Emissions in this sector have been reduced by 21% compared to 1990 levels. The energy sector has the smallest contribution of 17% of methane emissions in the EU due to mitigation efforts in the fuel industry contributing a 60% reduction. The waste management sector is also mentioned, representing 27% of methane emissions and a 37% reduction.
Section 2 it describes existing EU policies that have contributed to reduction, a review of these policies and additional policies to achieve higher methane emission reductions. Existing policies include: 

  • European Climate Law; 
  • EU Emissions Trading System;
  • Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry Regulation; 
  • Effort Sharing Regulation; and 
  • EU Methane Strategy

The Plan lists the following policies specific to each sector:

  • Agriculture
    • The new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for the period 2023-2027
    • Farm to Fork Strategy
  • Waste Management
    •  Waste Framework Directive
    •  Landfill Directive  
    •  Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive 
    •  Sewage Sludge Directive 
  • Energy Sector
    • Legislative proposal to reduce methane emissions in the energy sector 
    • Revision proposal for the Energy Efficiency Directive 
    • Revision proposal for the Renewable Energy Directive 

Section 3 describes the impact of increased climate ambition, which has historically been reduced steadily since 1990 — 36% in total.
Section 4 describes how the EU intends to Monitor and Report on its progress on reducing methane emissions, as well as on the policies and measures that directly impact sectoral methane emissions.

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