October 19, 2021
Brussels, 19th October 2021
As knowledge-sharing is essential to enhance the decarbonisation of all sectors and regions, GIE had joined 4 associations to develop a paper shedding light on the actions taken by the gas system operators to mitigate methane emissions. The document showcases updated data, facts and figures as well as concrete definitions. 4 decarbonisation leaders also took the floor to comment on the findings.
The joint paper includes:
Gas infrastructure taking action today
Making climate neutrality a reality is a top priority for the European Commission, as it is for the European gas industry. Representing around 4% of total European1 methane emissions, gas system operators have significantly decreased methane emissions since 1990, thanks to the implementation of several mitigation measures. To lower emissions even further, it is crucial to keep raising awareness while enhancing collaboration among sectors and regions. Improving detection and quantification technologies, mitigation techniques and sharing good practices represent a clear opportunity to continue paving the way towards climate neutrality via methane emissions reduction. Furthermore, there are clear efforts to facilitate the energy transition by preparing to accommodate low-carbon and renewable gases.
To address this particular issue, in October 2020 the European Commission released its strategy to reduce methane emissions in the European Union. This year, policy options were submitted for feedback via public consultations. The collected information should enable the European Commission to publish a legislative proposal for the energy sector during the fourth quarter of 2021. In addition, on the 18th of September 2021, The European Union and the United States announced the Global Methane Pledge, an initiative to reduce global methane emissions to be launched at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in November in Glasgow. Gas system operators continue taking action to support the European Commission and to effectively and responsibly further address methane emissions.
Giving the floor to experts
|Francisco Pablo de la Flor García, GIE Board member & GIE System Operation & Development Area Sponsor.|
|“Joining voluntary and mandatory programmes, gas infrastructure operators have been working for many years to minimise methane emissions of their facilities. Emission reductions are being achieved thanks to the implementation of ambitious leak detection and repair programmes as well as the progressive reduction of venting and flaring. It’s an ongoing process. We are implementing the best available techniques to mitigate emissions and we keep looking to improve these technologies, taking into consideration the safety of our workers as well as citizens. Technical and environmental aspects are also part of the equation.”|
|Scott Foster, Director of the Sustainable Energy Division, UNECE
“Methane emissions account for a quarter of today’s global warming. Their climate impact is second only to carbon dioxide, so managing methane emissions is imperative for achieving climate neutrality. Reducing methane emissions will benefit society, the environment, and the economy by reducing the costs of the energy transition. European energy infrastructure has a crucial role to play in managing methane emissions and enabling the needed transition.”
|Giulia Ferrini, Associated Programme Officer, UNEP
“The Oil and Gas Methane Partnership 2.0 – the most reliable and transparent standard for measuring and reporting methane emissions across the oil and gas value chain – allows for tracking and comparing performance across operators. We look forward to continue supporting the oil and gas industry as it makes deep reductions in methane emissions over the next decade in a way that is credible and accessible to governments, investors, and civil society organizations.”
|Andris Piebalgs, Professor at Florence School of Regulation (FSR)
“Methane emissions reduction from the fossil fuel value chains is a key short-term climate opportunity. International Methane Emissions Observatory will help to use it fully by combining ambition action with reliable data. European gas operators can play an important role in this process by embracing best practices and technologies.”
|Maria Olczak, Florence School of Regulation & Queen Mary University of London
“In line with a famous quote attributed to Peter Drucker ‘[only] what gets measured, gets managed’, a robust MRV system together with additional R&D efforts on to refine detection, measurement and mitigation technologies are necessary to tackle methane emissions. The findings will benefit not only gas infrastructure operators, but the lessons learned in Europe could be shared with companies operating in other jurisdictions aiming to address methane emissions. The voluntary OGMP2.0 framework offers a great example. In fact, raising awareness, sharing knowledge and fostering collaboration are the fundaments of the decarbonisation process.”
1 The data covers EU27+UK+Iceland
Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) is the association representing the interests of European gas infrastructure operators active in gas transmission, gas storage and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) regasification. GIE is a trusted partner of European institutions, regulatory bodies and industry stakeholders. It is based in Brussels, the heart of European policymaking. GIE currently represents 70 member companies from 26 countries. GIE’s vision is that by 2050, the gas infrastructure will be the backbone of the new innovative energy system, allowing European citizens to benefit from a secure, efficient and sustainable energy supply.