The European Union has decided to enact laws that will limit methane emissions from imported gas and oil by 2030.
A major legislative deal has been reached by the European Union to limit the amount of methane emissions from imported gas and oil beginning in 2030. Methane leaks are a powerful greenhouse gas and the second biggest cause of climate change after carbon dioxide. This decision puts pressure on overseas suppliers to take action to limit methane leaks. Short-term mitigation of the effects of severe climate change is considered to require rapid reductions in methane emissions.
After protracted talks, the European Parliament and representatives of EU member states have resolved to impose “maximum methane intensity values” for producers outside of Europe that supply the region with fossil fuels by 2030. Russia, Algeria, and the United States are anticipated to be among the main gas suppliers impacted by the import restrictions. Norway, which has one of the lowest methane intensity levels in the world, has overtaken the latter as Europe’s main pipeline gas provider after it cut back on gas deliveries to the continent last year.
After the law goes into force, supply contracts will need to meet the methane criteria, subject to the ultimate approval of the European Parliament and EU member states.
Although endorsing a reasonable, effective, and workable EU methane regulation, the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers also stressed the need for elucidation on a number of the regulations’ technical details.
Nevertheless, the environmental advocacy group Environmental Defense Fund Europe applauded the activities, viewing them as a strong message ahead of the COP 28 international climate conference in the United Arab Emirates. The organization emphasized that national borders do not apply to climate duties and praised the European Union for effectively leveraging its economic power as the world’s largest buyer of natural gas to encourage reductions in methane emissions worldwide.
Along with measuring, reporting, and verifying methane emissions, the Act also adds additional regulations for the coal, oil, and gas sectors. It requires gas and oil companies in Europe to routinely check for and fix greenhouse gas leaks in their equipment. The agreement also forbids, by 2025 or 2027, depending on the kind of infrastructure, the majority of cases of flaring and venting, deliberate burning, or the release of undesired methane into the sky.
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