The European Union (EU) published on Wednesday its first strategy to tackle methane emissions since 1996, as part of its Green Deal and carbon-neutrality goals.
The strategy sets out measures to reduce methane emissions in Europe and abroad. The gas is the second biggest contributor to climate change after carbon dioxide, Kallanish Energy reports.
Although European methane emissions only account for 5% of the global emissions, the continent needs to cut all its greenhouse gas emission in order to become carbon-neutral by 2050.
Among the plans, the EU is considering a ban on routine flaring and venting practices in the energy industry; and obligation to improve detection and repair of leaks in gas infrastructure.
The strategy sees both binding and non-binding actions in the energy, agriculture and waste sectors, which together account for 95% of methane emissions globally.
Yet, “the energy sector is where emissions can be cut the quickest with least costs,” said energy commissioner Kadri Simon. “Europe will lead the way, but we cannot do this alone. We need to work with our international partners to address the methane emissions of the energy we import.”
Europe is the world’s largest importer of natural gas. Binding standards on methane emissions and detection monitoring could impact major suppliers, which include Russia and Norway.
“The commission will consider methane emission reduction targets, standards or other incentives for fossil fuel energy consumed and imported in the EU in the absence of significant commitments from international partners,” the policy said.
This post appeared first on Kallanish Energy News.