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Canada will seek to reduce methane emissions from its oil and gas industry by more than its initial ambitious target. That target was a 75% reduction from 2012 levels by 2030, and the country’s Ambassador for Climate Change made it clear at the Climate Action Summit in New York City that the country now hopes to exceed that target.
The news release on the announcement noted that methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over a short period of time and that it was “one of the key drivers contributing to the increase in extreme climate-related weather events worldwide.”
To reduce these emissions, the Canadian federal government will draft new regulations for the oil and gas industry, to be released later in the fall.
Per the release, “They will achieve significant methane emission reductions from new and existing upstream oil and gas facilities through performance standards, and a risk-based approach for leak detection and repair (LDAR) with increased stringency for sites with the highest risk of unintentional releases (fugitive emissions).”
"Canada has committed to reduce by 2030 methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by at least 75 per cent below 2012 levels," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the UN.
"Today, I can announce that the draft regulations we will share soon will be designed to help us exceed this ambitious target."
He stopped short of going into the details of how this already ambitious target will be exceeded.
Methane is been attracting growing attention from transition activists and governments in the past few years. It has become a natural target alongside CO2 because of its potent greenhouse effect.
Yet investment in methane emissions reduction is minuscule compared to the billions being poured into CO2 emission cuts, a recent report from environmentalist group Clean Air Task Force said. The report estimated that the world needs to spend $119 billion annually in the energy, agriculture, and waste industries to reduce methane emissions meaningfully and in line with Paris Agreement stipulations.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com