25 Nov 2021, 13:59
Kerstine Appunn

Greens criticise European Commission's plans against methane emissions


The European Commission is planning measures against methane emissions from the oil and gas industry in the EU, according to a draft law proposal seen by German news agency dpa. Operators of oil and gas power stations in the bloc would have to measure methane emissions from their plants and submit reports on them; they would also be checked for methane leaks. To also influence the methane emissions from producers outside of the EU, the Commission proposes a methane transparency database on emissions from imports. Very large non-EU emitters could be identified on satellite images, followed by bilateral talks with these countries. At the latest UN climate conference COP26, the EU committed to reducing methane emissions by at least 30 percent by 2030 compared to 2020. Green member of the European parliament Jutta Paulus told dpa that the Commission’s draft law lacks a reduction target for methane and doesn’t feature an EU-wide enforcement mechanism, therefore falling short of the COP26 promise. “Only by collecting data, we will not reach the climate targets,” she said.

The legislative proposal is expected to be presented on 14 December and can still be amended until then. Methane – the main component of natural gas – is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO₂, especially when looking at shorter time horizons. Leaks along the entire value chain of oil and gas production, processing, transport and use have to be considered for the fuel’s full carbon footprint.

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