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EU Looks To Toughen Methane Emissions Rules For Fossil Fuel Producers

The industry and environment committees at the European Parliament are set to approve next week proposed legislation to set a methane-reduction target by 2030, including for the oil and gas producers who could face penalties or bans from markets if they fail to repair gas leaks or monitor emissions.  

The committees are expected to vote on the methane-emission targets on April 26 and are set to approve the strict rules, according to the agreement seen by Bloomberg.

After the vote at the committees, the European Parliament will then vote on the agreement before moving to discuss it and its implementation with the EU member states. The EU member states have already watered down an original proposal from the European Commission.

Last month, the European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, warned the EU that the union risked lagging behind in climate goals if it continues to fail to adopt tough regulations on the emissions of methane, a more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2.

Last year, the EU reached an agreement on a proposal to track and reduce methane emissions in the energy sector. The text was the first of its kind and a crucial contribution to climate action, the Council of the EU said in December. The proposal introduces new requirements for the oil, gas, and coal sectors to measure, report and verify methane emissions (MRV) at the highest standard. Operators will need to carefully document all wells and mines, trace their emissions and take appropriate mitigation measures to prevent and minimize methane emissions in their operations, according to the proposal. In the oil and gas sector, operators will have to measure and draw reports on methane emissions that will be checked by independent accredited verifiers.

“This regulation will help us understand where methane emissions come from and address them effectively. This will help us meet our commitments under the Global Methane Pledge to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030,” Jozef Sikela, Czech minister of industry and trade, said in December.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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