As part of its plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, the EU will consider establishing an internationally level and legally binding framework to reduce methane emissions, including in the energy sector.
In the EU’s strategy to reduce methane emissions released on Wednesday, the European Commission said the scope of action for energy related methane emissions covers the entire oil, gas and coal supply chain, including liquefied natural gas, natural gas storage and biogas introduced into the natural gas system.
In its strategy, the European Commission said: “in the absence of significant commitments from international partners, the Commission will consider methane emission reduction targets, standards or other incentives for fossil energy consumption and imports.”.
Methane is the second largest gas causing global warming, after carbon dioxide. According to the European Environment Agency (EEA), 53% of the EU’s anthropogenic methane emissions come from agriculture, 26% from waste and 19% from energy.
According to the European Union, emissions reductions in the energy sector are feasible, with at least one third of them being achieved without increasing the net cost of industry.
“From a net economic, environmental and social point of view, the biggest benefits will be to reduce venting and combustion, reduce leakage from production, transportation and combustion of fossil gas and oil, and reduce methane emissions from coal mines,” the Commission said
“We have today adopted the first strategy to address methane emissions since 1996,” energy Commissioner cadrisimson said in a statement. Although the energy, agriculture and waste sectors all have a role to play, energy is the area where emissions can be reduced most quickly and at the lowest cost. Europe will take the lead, but we cannot do it alone. We need to work with our international partners to address methane emissions from our imported energy sources. “