Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt — On November 11 at COP27, the European Union, United States, Japan, Canada, United Kingdom, and Norway announced a landmark new agreement to tackle global methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.
Officially titled the ‘Joint Declaration from Energy Importers and Exporters on Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Fossil Fuels,’ the declaration unites major energy importers and exporters to minimize flaring, methane, and CO2 emissions across the fossil energy value chain to the fullest extent practicable.
These countries will support enhanced policy action, cooperation on methane measurement, and public and private sector engagement to achieve these goals.
“By creating a framework for import and export standards, this agreement harnesses access to the market to push action to cut methane throughout the world,” said Jonathan Banks, CATF’s Global Director, Methane Pollution Prevention. “Next, we want to see the details and look for who else will join. Ideally the agreement will include South Korea, one of the largest purchasers of gas, and other large exporters like Qatar and Australia.”
The initial list of supporter countries is notable. The EU and Japan are two of the world’s largest importers of oil and gas, while the U.S., Norway, and Canada are among the largest exporters.
Last year at COP26, the U.S., UK and EU launched the Global Methane Pledge, an international agreement to collectively reduce methane emissions 30% by 2030. To date, more than 130 countries 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. Individual countries have begun to turn ambition into action with concrete roadmaps, strengthened regulations, and new financing. During COP27, 40 countries are expected to unveil action plans, building on progress from national governments around the world who have taken concrete steps to cut methane over the past year.
“The ways in which this new agreement is ratified in national policy and trade agreements will be critical,” continued Banks. “Adding on international measures to the domestic action plans being developed and implemented by Global Methane Pledge supporters would facilitate the rapid reductions needed.”
“This provides the EU with an excellent opportunity to enshrine strong import standards in the methane legislation currently being debated,” said Alessia Virone, EU Government Affairs Director at Clean Air Task Force. “Including non-domestic measures would be a concrete step to realizing the goals of the resolution and a clear show of progress on the methane issue one year on from the launch of the Pledge in Glasgow.”
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.