Reducing methane emissions from oil and gas operations is key to mitigating the worst impacts of the climate crisis, according to a report published by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Methane is an extremely potent greenhouse gas, with a global warming potential 84 times greater than carbon dioxide (CO2) in a 20-year time frame.
The IEA estimates that the oil and gas sector emitted around 70 Mt of methane in 2020, just over 5% of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the report, new policy effort should focus on improving the measurement and reporting of emissions data, which can, in turn, lead to more efficient regulatory interventions.
Under the IEA Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS), emissions from this sector will need to fall to around 20 Mt per year by 2030 – a drop of more than 70% from levels in 2020.