National Methane Action Plan

Last updated: 7 February 2023

The government of Norway submitted its National Methane Action Plan to the Climate & Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) in November of 2022. The Plan reviews the country's progress on methane reduction to date and identifies the ministries and agencies responsible for implementing methane targets across different sectors. The document covers the following topics:

  1. Emissions: The majority of methane emissions (55.2%) come from the agricultural sector, followed by waste (23.3%), energy (21.1%), and small amounts from the land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) and industrial processes sectors. The most prominent sources of emissions from the energy sector are fugitive releases from oil and gas operations. Economy-wide emissions have decreased by 24.4% from 1990 levels; energy sector emissions have decreased by 9% in the same timeframe. 
  2. Methane Reduction Targets: Norway does not have specific targets for methane reduction, but the gas is included in the overarching GHG emissions reduction goal of 55% by 2030 and 90-95% by 2050 (compared to 1990 levels)..
  3. Policy Pathways: There are strategies and regulatory instruments in each sector designed to achieve the country's climate objectives. Policies regulating the energy sector include research and development strategies such as Oil & Gas in the 21st Century (OG21) and the Energi21 strategy, along with legislative acts such as the Pollution Control Act, the Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading Act, the Petroleum Act and the CO2 Tax Act (on the Norwegian Continental Shelf). Under the 2022 CO2 tax regime, venting of natural gas (which is mostly methane) is taxed at a rate of NOK 766 per tonne of CO2-eq. Under the Petroleum Act, flaring of natural gas is permitted by the Norwegian Environmental Agency for safety purposes only. Under the Pollution Control Act, the Agency also issues permits defining maximum emission values at the facility level, which include limits on methane from venting and fugitive sources. Limit values are defined based on best available technology (BAT) guidance issued by the European Union and the government of Norway.
  4. Monitoring, Reporting and Verification: The Norwegian Climate Change Act, adopted in 2017, establishes a five year timeline for reviewing the country's progress toward its climate goals. The review is submitted to Parliament as the Government’s Climate Status and Plan under the National Budget.

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