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EU Adopts Rules on Methane Emission Limits for Fossil Fuel Imports

The European Union approved on Monday a set of rules and regulations that will impose methane emissions limits and monitoring of the EU’s energy sector and oil, gas, and coal imports beginning in 2030.

The new regulation on tracking and reducing methane emissions is part of the EU’s ‘Fit for 55’ package to cut emissions on the road to net zero.

Such limits, however, would hit the EU’s top LNG and pipeline natural gas suppliers, including the United States.  

The bloc wants to ditch Russian natural gas ideally by 2027, but it will not have weaned off all natural gas by that date, so it could hit the suppliers on which it would depend the most for gas later this decade.

“With Europe importing a large part of the fossil energy it consumes, the regulation will also help to reduce methane emissions from imported fossil fuels,” the European Commission said today after the Council adopted the rules.

“The regulation will progressively introduce more stringent requirements to ensure that exporters gradually apply the same monitoring, reporting and verification obligations as EU operators,” the Commission added.

“To meet the Paris Agreement's goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C and achieving climate neutrality by 2050, we must cut methane emissions in the oil, gas, and coal sectors. This legislation ensures proper monitoring and addressing of emissions across these value chains,” said Tinne Van der Straeten, the Energy Minister of Belgium, which holds the EU rotating presidency in the first half of the year.

The European Commission for Energy, Kadri Simson, said,

“With the final EU adoption of the methane regulation we now have means to get clearer insight into the main sources of methane emissions in the energy sector. This will increase transparency and provide the tools necessary to reduce these potent emissions, both in the EU and globally.”

The Commission will review the application of the regulation in 2028, including the level of emissions reduction achieved.  

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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