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Canada reaffirms commitment to curb methane emissions with proposed oil and gas standards

December 4, 2023 Work Area: Methane

DUBAI – Today at COP28, the Government of Canada proposed new oil and gas standards to reduce methane emissions from its oil and gas sector — including comprehensive leak detection and repair, a ban on venting, and provides $30 million towards a Center of Excellence that will improve monitoring, reporting and verification, as well as Canada’s national inventories. This proposal builds upon Canada’s regulatory framework released last year, updates Canada 2019 regulations, and demonstrates significant methane reduction action on a global scale.  

“We are pleased to see the next step in Canada’s promise to reduce methane emissions from its oil and gas sector,” said Jonathan Banks, Global Director of Methane Pollution Prevention at Clean Air Task Force. “When Canada made a commitment to a 75% reduction by 2030 at COP27, it took a step toward establishing itself as a global leader in methane mitigation. This proposal, when finalized, will give teeth to that commitment.” 

Canada’s regulation, as proposed, would set a new bar for leak detection and repair (LDAR) in the oil and gas industry. Highlights of the new framework include: 

  • Quarterly-based LDAR instrument inspections at leak-prone facilities (including all compressors, separators, flares, and storage tanks);  
  • Monthly screening inspections at all facilities using a monitoring instrument that, under standard conditions, has a 90% or greater probability of detecting a fugitive emission with a flow rate of 1 kg/h or more; and 
  • Annual third-party audit using methods that under standard conditions, provides a 90% or greater probability of detecting a fugitive emission with a flow rate of 10 kg/h or more.     

Canada’s regulation also proposes a ban on venting, including from equipment like pneumatic devices, and a new requirement to reduce flaring of associated gas. The regulation also includes a performance standard which operators can opt into as an alternative to the requirements described for venting and fugitive emission. These rules would go into effect by 2027 to meet Canada’s methane goals for the oil and gas sector.  

“Reducing methane emissions is one of the best strategies we have available to slow global warming in the near term,” Banks continued. “We look forward to providing feedback during the consultation process on how Canada can improve its proposal to ensure it will finalize a strong rule that lives up to its COP27 promise. Doing so would set an even higher bar for other countries to reach as we work to cut methane emissions on a global scale.” 

In Canada, the oil and gas sectors are the largest source of methane and other greenhouse gas emissions. Methane pollution warms the planet more than 80 times more than carbon dioxide over its first 20 years in the atmosphere and is responsible for about half a degree Celsius of global warming so far. 

Canada’s new methane regulations come during COP28 in Dubai, where countries are expected to report progress to reduce methane emissions as part of the Global Methane Pledge.  

Learn more about CATF’s work to reduce methane emissions on a global scale. 

Press Contacts

Troy Shaheen, Communications Director, [email protected], +1 845-750-1189 

Rowan Emslie, Communications Director, Europe, [email protected],  +32 476 97 36 42 

About Clean Air Task Force 

Clean Air Task Force (CATF) is a global nonprofit organization working to safeguard against the worst impacts of climate change by catalyzing the rapid development and deployment of low-carbon energy and other climate-protecting technologies. With 25 years of internationally recognized expertise on climate policy and a fierce commitment to exploring all potential solutions, CATF is a pragmatic, non-ideological advocacy group with the bold ideas needed to address climate change. CATF has offices in Boston, Washington D.C., and Brussels, with staff working virtually around the world.   

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