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CATF Statement on EU Methane Regulation Advocacy

March 7, 2023

In February, Politico Europe reported on allegations that Clean Air Task Force (CATF) had written a draft of an official compromise amendment circulated by Jutta Paulus, a Green Party Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Germany. These allegations are false. CATF did not draft nor review these compromise amendments.  

As a leading global climate organisation working to reduce harmful emissions and advance a broad suite of climate solutions, CATF regularly engages with policymakers around the world on a range of critical issues – including on methane regulation in the European Union. We provide technical, legal, and policy expertise to members of European Parliament from all political groups in accordance with standard democratic procedure, advocating for pragmatic approaches to climate action that consider community and economic impacts and that reckon with the full scope of the climate challenge. 

In September 2022, CATF submitted a document to MEP Paulus and other MEPs with technical recommendations to mitigate methane emissions from Europe’s oil and gas sector under the EU’s proposed Methane Regulation. Five months later, Politico Europe published that the appearance of a name of a CATF staff member in a document’s metadata suggests that CATF had authored compromise amendments MEP Paulus shared within Parliament. CATF immediately refuted the claim and shared with Politico the original document it had submitted to policymakers on oil and gas methane mitigation in September, which is entirely distinct from the document in question in the Politico story. In fact, the leaked document in question didn’t even address methane emissions from the oil and gas sector. 

MEP Jutta Paulus’ team quickly confirmed that CATF played no role in drafting the document in question, explaining that a member of her staff had used the CATF’s recommendations document as a template, erasing the text but adopting its “two-column consolidated text” as “a formatting base” for the Green party’s document. This led to CATF’s metadata remaining in the document despite CATF having had nothing to do with its content. 

Our recommendations to MEPs on the Methane Regulation are part of the public record. They can be found on our website and in multiple publicly available letters, comments, and reports sent to European institutions over the years. Methane mitigation is a critical issue, and we do not hide our position on it or our work to engage policymakers around it.  

Unfortunately, rather than focus on the merits of the legislative proposal itself, public comments about this clerical error have misrepresented CATF and its engagement in an attempt to derail the conversation around this crucial piece of climate policy. This comes despite high level warnings from EU Commissioner Simson and Executive Vice President Timmermans about the importance of the methane regulation for overall European climate ambitions. 

We strongly condemn any efforts to misconstrue this clerical error to delay policy progress. 

About Clean Air Task Force

CATF is a nonpartisan, independent, global organisation working across the political spectrum and alongside a diverse group of stakeholders that includes governments, civil society, industry, trade unions, and academia. We have more than 25 years of experience in research and advocacy for which we have been recognized as the most effective climate organisations in the world for a third year in a row by Giving Green and Founders Pledge. With the generous support of donors and philanthropic funders, we have built a strong presence in Europe with a staff of more than 25 European experts working across the continent to advance and to support Europe’s ambitious suite of climate and energy policies, both as a route to decarbonisation within the bloc and as an engine for much-needed climate innovation around the globe. 

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