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Canada Canada leads world with pledge to curb methane leaks from oil and gas sector

01:43  14 october  2021
01:43  14 october  2021 Source:   msn.com

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Canada is committing to slashing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector as part of a global effort to curb the powerful greenhouse gas . Other than reducing oil and gas production, one of the leading ways to reduce methane emissions is to install technologies that can capture the leaking methane at various points in the supply chain, like when it’s compressed into liquid form for transportation. That has a secondary effect of giving the companies more product to sell.

Methane is responsible for around 30 percent of the global rise in temperatures to date and half a million premature deaths globally each year. It also accounts for about 13 percent of Canada 's total greenhouse gas emissions. Slashing emissions from methane is one of the fastest and lowest cost The International Energy Agency has made it clear that curbing methane emissions from oil and gas operations represents one of the best near-term opportunities for limiting the worst impacts of climate change and has called on countries and companies to reduce methane emissions from the sector by

OTTAWA — Canada is nearly doubling its target to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector as it prepares to sign a new global pledge at next month's climate talks in Scotland.

  Canada leads world with pledge to curb methane leaks from oil and gas sector © Provided by The Canadian Press

The colourless and odourless gas amounts to just about 13 per cent of Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions, but because it is better than carbon dioxide at trapping heat it is believed to be responsible for at least one-third of global warming recorded to date.

Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, said this week that cutting methane "is the fastest opportunity we have to help avert our most acute climate risks, including crop loss, wildfires, extreme weather and rising sea levels."

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Canada , Nigeria, Japan and Pakistan are among 31 parties to join a global pledge , led by the U.S. and EU, to slash planet-warming methane emissions by 30 per cent by the end of the decade, US climate enjoy John Kerry announced Monday. Methane is the main component of natural gas used widely for cooking and heating homes, but it can also be produced in nature by belching volcanoes, decomposing plant matter, landfills, livestock and leaks from oil , gas and coal infrastructure. Natural gas has been hailed as a "bridge fuel" that would transition the U.S. to renewable energy because it is more efficient

Oil and gas sector methane emissions, historical and in the Sustainable Development Scenario, 2000-2030. Open. This 70% reduction coincides with the amount that would be technically possible to abate, according to the IEA Methane Tracker. In addition, a significant share of these emissions can be abated at no net cost A growing number of jurisdictions have already recognised that regulatory action plays an important role in driving these actions in the oil and gas industry. Some governments have taken action; others have pledged to follow in the coming years. From our survey of early actions, we have

The United States and Europe plan to use the United Nations climate talks in November to launch the Global Methane Pledge, calling on other governments to commit to cutting total methane emissions 30 per cent by 2030.

That would be from all sources of methane, including oil and gas production, agriculture and waste.

But the International Energy Agency said last month hitting global climate targets means methane from the oil and gas industry alone must be cut 75 per cent from 2012 levels by the end of this decade.

This week Canada became the first and only country in the world to commit to both targets, though the math suggests cutting three-quarters of methane emissions from the oil and gas sector would be about the equivalent of a 30 per cent cut to total methane emissions.

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(CNN) Canada , Nigeria, Japan and Pakistan are among 31 parties to join a global pledge , led by the US and EU, to slash planet-warming methane emissions by 30% by the end of the decade, US climate enjoy John Kerry announced Monday. Methane is the main component of natural gas used widely for cooking and heating homes, but it can also be produced in nature by belching volcanoes, decomposing plant matter, landfills, livestock and leaks from oil , gas and coal infrastructure. Natural gas has been hailed as a "bridge fuel" that would transition the US to renewable energy because it is more efficient

Some big oil and gas companies such as BP BP.L and Royal Dutch Shell RDSa.L are tackling the issue by investing in satellite companies or signing monitoring deals so they can find and plug their leaks and stick to pledges to slash emissions. The push to detect emissions from the sky began when U.S Kayrros also discovered leaks from oil and gas installations in the Sahara Desert in North Africa. “Early results show that the estimates we have been relying on for the last years and decades are probably too low and we’re finding more methane coming out of various industries and regions

In Canada 43 per cent of methane emitted in 2019 came from oil and gas, 24 per cent from livestock and 23 per cent from landfills.


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"The 75 per cent target is an important goal that we encourage other oil and gas producing nations to adopt," Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said at a virtual meeting on the global methane pledge on Monday.

"It is one that as many of you know, the IEA has called for publicly."

It's also one that experts suggest is one of the few easy buttons in the fight against climate change.

Jan Gorski, a senior analyst at the Pembina Institute, said in an interview that Canada already has good policies to curb methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.

"We don't need to reinvent the wheel on this," he said. "It's about taking the policies that we have right now and basically ratcheting it down, making them more stringent. All the solutions to addressing methane are there and they're economic."

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According to Jackson and colleagues, curbing methane emissions will require reducing fossil fuel use and controlling fugitive emissions such as leaks from pipelines and wells, as well as changes to the way we feed cattle, grow rice and eat. “We’ll need to eat less meat and reduce emissions associated Feed supplements such as algae may help to reduce methane burps from cows, and rice farming can transition away from permanent waterlogging that maximizes methane production in low-oxygen environments. Aircraft, drones and satellites show promise for monitoring methane from oil and gas

The Oil & Gas Methane Partnership (an initiative of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition) provides protocols for companies to survey and address emissions and a platform for them to demonstrate results. It consists of ten representatives from oil and gas companies, governments, the UN Environment Programme, the World Bank and the Environmental Defence Fund. The Environmental Partnership (TEP) is an industry- led voluntary program in the United States that consists of taking action, learning about best practices and technology, and fostering collaboration to reduce emissions.

The International Energy Agency said technology already exists to capture or stop 70 per cent of the methane emitted from the oil and gas sector, including accidental leaks that happen during production, and on-purpose venting. And it says 45 per cent can be cut at no cost, because the methane that is captured is actually a commodity that can be sold.

Canada's existing regulations are aiming to cut methane from the oil and gas sector 40 to 45 per cent over 2012 levels by 2025, and started taking effect last year. They include requirements for oil and gas companies to have leak detection and repair programs in place and to inspect their equipment for leaks at least three times a year. In 2023 there will be new limits placed on how much methane can be vented.

Several provinces also signed agreements with Ottawa allowing them to use their own regulations, which are slightly different. Ottawa allowed that as long as it believed they'd still meet the 2025 target.

Gorski said a year ago Canada was likely on track only to cut methane down by 29 per cent from the oil and gas sector by 2025, and Environment and Climate Change Canada is reviewing where things are at.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 13, 2021.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

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