REACTION: A starting point on a methane mitigation framework, but ambition is still leaking

Energy transition

A starting point on a methane mitigation framework, but ambition is still leaking

Brussels, 15 November 2023 – Late last night, the European Parliament and Council came to an agreement on the EU Methane Regulation, which now provides a framework to tackle methane emissions. Yet, if the EU wants to effectively limit global temperature rise by 1.5C, more has to be done on methane mitigation measures, especially for imports.

It is positive that monitoring and reporting measures will apply for importers from 2027 onwards. However, genuine mitigation measures such as detecting leaks and repairing them or banning routine venting flaring have been overlooked. The biggest loophole is timing, as the delegated act defining a methane intensity target will be published only three years after entry into force of the Regulation. This leaves the risk that these measures will only be implemented by 2030, which is way too late to tackle the low hanging fruit of climate action, as indicated in the IEA’s recent report on methane emissions.

Applying a methane intensity target only three years after entry into force of this regulation is far too little, too late, as methane emissions from producers outside the EU would risk remaining dangerously high up to 2030. We urge for the European Commission to be ambitious in fleshing out the delegated act, Member States to go for a speedy adoption in order to live up to EU’s commitments under the global methane pledge and making methane mitigation a genuine pathway to fossil gas phaseout by 2035 – Esther Bollendorf, Senior Gas Policy Expert at CAN Europe.

Fossil gas is essentially composed of methane. Reducing methane emissions will contribute greatly to phasing out fossil gas by 2035, which is needed to achieve climate neutrality by 2040. Moreover, the Global Methane Pledge signed by more than 150 countries requires signatories to reduce global methane emissions by at least 30% from 2020 levels by 2030. Yet, the agreement between the Council and the Parliament does not live up to the EU’s commitment to this pledge.



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