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Natural Awakenings

Europe Tightens Methane Emission Monitoring, But U.S. Does Not

Methane emissions

markus distelrath/

The United Nations reported that atmospheric levels of the greenhouse gas methane reached a record high, and 62 oil and gas companies acting as the Climate and Clean Air Coalition’s Oil and Gas Methane Partnership (OGMP) have adopted a new framework to report methane emissions. None of the participating oil and gas companies in the OGMP are in the United States. The initiative, managed by the U.N. Environment Programme, asks companies to report methane emissions from both core operations and joint ventures. The OGMP represents about 30 percent of global oil and gas production and seeks to deliver a 45 percent reduction in the oil and gas industry’s methane emissions by 2025.

Approximately 60 percent of methane emitted into the atmosphere comes from manmade sources such as fossil fuels, landfills, biomass burning and agriculture. For the first time, companies are committing to regularly measure their methane emissions using strict, science-based standards, as opposed to engineering estimates, which have historically understated emissions. This newly adopted method involves field measurements and ongoing monitoring with drones and satellites.

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