62 oil and gas companies have agreed to report methane emissions with a much higher level of transparency.
Methane is a highly potent greenhouse gas, with more than 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.
62 companies, representing 30% of the world’s oil and gas production have joined the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership (OGMP), which is led by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
Through accurate reporting, it will make it easier for officials, investors and the public to accurately track and compare performance across companies.
The longterm goal is to enable the oil and gas industry to reduce methane emissions in the next decade, with an aim to deliver a 45% reduction by 2025 and a 60-70% reduction by 2030.
Reducing methane emissions by 90% would also shave two-tenths of a degree Celcius from the forecasted rise in the planet’s average temperature by 2050.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), roughly three-quarters of methane emissions could be reduced with the technology that exists today.
Inger Andersen, executive director of UNEP, said: ‘To win the race to net-zero emissions, we need everyone on board.
‘We need ambitious action from the oil and gas industry. UNEP is committed to supporting efforts that reduce methane emissions, and we recognize the leadership of companies that have joined such an ambitious methane reporting framework.
‘We look forward to seeing actions that turn commitments into actual emissions reduction.’
Kadri Simson, EU energy commissioner, added: ‘I am very happy to see the energy industry taking immediate action on methane emissions.
‘A clear commitment to measure and monitor emissions is an important first step for significantly reducing them and I am proud of what we have achieved together. Today’s signature is the first deliverable under the Commission’s recent methane strategy.
‘There are many more steps to take to cut emissions along the entire value chain and I hope to work closely with all – European and international – partners to reach this goal.’
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