EU proposes legislation to reduce oil and gas methane emissions
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EU proposes legislation to reduce oil and gas methane emissions

By Scarlett Evans 23 Nov 2021 (Last Updated November 25th, 2021 10:52)

Regulations to curb oil and gas methane emissions are tightening, with a new EU bill proposing stricter monitoring and reporting.

EU proposes legislation to reduce oil and gas methane emissions

Reuters has reportedly seen a new draft EU bill to curb the oil and gas industry’s methane emissions, with the new legislation recommending companies be required to report output of the gas, as well as to monitor and fix any leaks that may occur.

A draft version of the bill is set to be presented in December by the European Commission. Following its proposal, the legislation will be negotiated by the European Parliament and member states in a process that could reportedly take up to two years.

Under the new bill proposal, it will be a requirement for oil and gas operators to report their measurements of methane emissions, coming into effect two years after the bill is brought into law.

Plans for the new regulations were initially announced in October this year, calling for binding targets to be set around nations’ methane emissions.

In similar news, a US Democrat proposal to implement a methane tax on oil and gas wells was included in a major social and environmental policy bill passed by House Democrats last Friday. Now, the proposal will be moving on to the Senate for consideration.

The fossil fuel industry is currently responsible for a third of man-made methane emissions. In a report, the International Energy Agency labeled action on methane “one of the most effective steps” to mitigating climate change that the energy sector could take, with the gas being the second largest contributor to global warming, following carbon dioxide.

To achieve the IEA’s Net Zero Emissions by 2050 target, the group estimates total methane emissions will need to fall by 75% between 2020 and 2030 – something we are not currently on track to achieve, though this spate of new proposals demonstrates the net is closing around methane.

New targets to address this gas were also established at COP26, and on 2 November the EU announced the official launch of the Global Methane Pledge – a joint EU-US initiative urging nations to curb methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030 as compared to 2020 levels.