New EU methane regulation to cut fossil fuel emissions

Green Forum
European Commission voted on the first-ever EU regulations aimed at curbing methane emissions from the energy sector. This marks a significant advancement in implementing the European Green Deal and REPowerEU, underscoring Europe's commitment to addressing harmful emissions both domestically and internationally.

The new regulations mandate that the fossil gas, oil, and coal industries in Europe measure, monitor, report, and verify their methane emissions using the highest monitoring standards, and take steps to reduce these emissions. They also require EU operators in these sectors to end avoidable and routine flaring and limit flaring and venting to emergencies, technical malfunctions, or safety necessities.

Given Europe's reliance on imported fossil energy, the regulations aim to cut methane emissions from imported fossil fuels as well. The rules will gradually enforce stricter requirements to ensure exporters apply the same monitoring, reporting, and verification standards as those in the EU.

The regulations also mandate the European Commission to establish a global monitoring tool for methane emitters, utilizing satellite data to provide information on the magnitude, occurrence, and location of significant methane sources both within and outside the EU.

Additionally, the Commission will implement a rapid alert system for 'super-emitting' events—incidents where facilities, equipment, or infrastructure release very high levels of methane. This system will serve as an early warning to detect such events and notify the relevant EU or non-EU authorities to take prompt action.

Kadri Simson, the European Commissioner for Energy, welcomed the regulation's final adoption, stating, "Methane is the second largest contributor to global warming and air pollution after CO2, responsible for about a third of greenhouse gas emissions, which harm both our environment and our health. With the final adoption of the methane regulation, we now have the means to gain clearer insight into the primary sources of methane emissions in the energy sector. This will enhance transparency and provide the necessary tools to reduce these potent emissions, both within the EU and globally."

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Green Forum  |  20 June, 2024 at 8:04 AM