The European Union (EU) is taking a significant step towards curbing methane emissions by implementing new regulations aimed at reducing the impact of this potent greenhouse gas on the energy sector.
In a provisional agreement reached early Wednesday, the EU Council and Parliament have agreed on a framework to monitor and decrease methane emissions, which are believed to contribute to one-third of global warming. The proposed rules will require companies in the oil, gas, and coal industries to measure, report, and verify their methane emissions. Additionally, these companies will be required to implement mitigation measures to prevent further emissions. The regulations will be phased in, with operators submitting regular reports on their emissions once the rules come into effect.
The scope of the regulations also includes imports of fossil fuels into the EU. Exporters will need to adhere to monitoring, reporting, and verification measures by January 1, 2027, as well as meet maximum methane intensity values by 2030.
These new regulations are an integral part of the EU’s efforts to implement the European Green Deal, which aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. A climate-neutral economy is one that has net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the International Energy Agency, the energy sector accounts for around 40% of total methane emissions caused by human activity, making it the second-largest contributor after agriculture.
The next step for these regulations is to gain endorsement and formal adoption by the council and parliament. This marks a significant milestone in reducing methane emissions and advancing the EU’s environmental goals.