December 2, 2022

COP27: Reducing Methane Emissions High on the Agenda 

The 47 members of Methane Guiding Principles are committed to working on reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas industry by developing and sharing tools and guidance on measurement, monitoring and mitigation.

It was positive to see that reducing methane emissions was high on the agenda at COP27 with US President Joe Biden referring to it as a “climate game-changer” at a headline event. This and a number of other events at COP27 highlighted the stronger commitments to action at both government and international levels, helping to complement the work already begun at the industry level.

Some of the government and international commitments include: 

  • President Biden announced plans to tighten methane emissions regulations that include over $20 billion in new investments to tackle methane emissions and a crackdown on flaring and leaks.
  • The US, EU, Japan, Canada, Norway, Singapore and the UK committed to reducing methane emissions from oil and gas production by reducing avoidable routine flaring, venting and leakage. 
  • Canada said it plans to target a 75% reduction in methane from oil and gas by 2030 compared with 2012 and China – the biggest source of methane emissions globally – is preparing a methane strategy.
  • 150 countries have now signed up to the Global Methane Pledge and over 95% of countries will include methane in their 2030 NDC targets.
  • The UN Environment Programme launched the Methane Alert and Response System (MARS) – a public database of global methane leaks detected by satellite. This will be a critical tool to help governments and companies detect and then rapidly mitigate leaks in their infrastructure.
  • The MARS project complements the OGCI-led work with GHGSat which uses satellite monitoring and engagement with local operators to identify and mitigate methane leaks. The project started in 2021 and will soon share the findings.

Meanwhile, the oil and gas industry pressed ahead with a number of joint efforts to cut methane emissions.

  • The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI)’s Aiming for Zero Methane Emissions Initiative now has over 60 signatories and supporters, including the world’s biggest oil and gas producers and service companies.
  • Aiming for Zero complements and amplifies the work of other industry-wide methane initiatives, including Methane Guiding Principles and the Oil & Gas Methane Partnership 2.0.

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