Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt — The government of Nigeria finalized its Methane Guidelines to reduce emissions from its oil and gas industry, making it the first country in Africa to enact regulations to curb methane in the energy sector.
Clean Air Task Force (CATF) commends Nigeria’s leadership for setting an example and helping the globe reduce methane emissions to slow down climate change.
“Nigeria has shown great leadership on methane at COP27, giving the world a concrete example of the kinds of action necessary to slash methane emissions and bend the curve on climate change,” said Jonathan Banks, Global Director of CATF’s Methane Pollution Prevention program. “Nigeria is turning ambition into action on methane. We sincerely hope that other nations will step up and follow its lead.”
Last year at COP26, the U.S., UK and EU launched the Global Methane Pledge, an international commitment to collectively reduce methane emissions 30% by 2030. To date, more than 120 countries – including Nigeria – have joined the Global Methane Pledge, making it the largest display of ambition ever to reduce methane emissions. The Global Methane Pledge has generated tremendous momentum on methane, with countries around the world raising their ambition. Nigeria is the latest country to turn ambition into action.
CATF started its engagement in Nigeria in 2019 with support of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, and established a collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment and the oil and gas regulator. Through capacity building workshops, and small working groups, CATF and the Nigerian government worked to improve the national inventory for methane emissions and to set the stage for policy development.
As a result of this partnership, in 2021, Nigeria included a specific methane target for the oil and gas industry in the 2021 update of its Nationally Determined Contribution calling for a 61% reduction in methane emissions in the oil and gas sector. Throughout 2022, CATF worked closely with the new regulatory bodies the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to develop comprehensive standards to control methane emissions.
Now at COP27, the NUPRC has published its Methane Guidelines which aim to dramatically reduce emissions in the upstream oil and gas industry.
Nigeria’s regulations were derived from the best practices around the world. They include requirements for companies to act on three critical areas:
- Implement leak detection and repair measures on its oil and gas infrastructure.
- Install flares with high destruction efficiency in order to reduce the impact of leaked or vented methane.
- Establish controls on devices that are designed to vent or require their replacement with zero emissions equipment.
Over the coming year, CATF will work with the Nigerian government to build capacity and overcome barriers to effective implementation of the regulations. And we will be seeking to replicate Nigeria’s success around the globe.
Methane is a harmful super pollutant that warms the planet more than 80 times more than carbon dioxide over its first 20 years in the atmosphere. It’s responsible for about half a degree Celsius of global warming so far, and its levels are rising fast. Due to its short-lived nature, reducing methane emissions is one of the best strategies available to slow global warming in the near term. Learn more about CATF’s work to reduce methane emissions.
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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. Visit catf.us and follow @cleanaircatf.