Oct 15, 2020 - Energy & Environment

EU moves on methane as pollution evidence grows

A balance scale with a EU star and the earth

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The European Commission yesterday unveiled a wide-ranging strategy to cut methane pollution, noting it's "essential to reaching our 2030 climate targets and the 2050 climate neutrality goal."

Why it matters: Reuters flags the importance of the plan's consideration of binding standards on natural gas, noting it's a "clearer commitment than previous drafts, which shied away from methane limits on gas consumed in Europe."

  • That matters because Europe imports vast quantities of natural gas.
  • Reuters notes that their current 2050 target "does not capture the emissions released to produce or transport gas to the EU, whereas methane standards for imported gas would."

Threat level: Separately, the energy analytics firm Kayrros said yesterday that its analysis of satellite data shows a "substantial increase in large global methane leaks" this year." Based on the number of methane hotspots detected in the oil and gas sector, visible methane emissions around the world have increased by approximately 32 per cent," the firm said, comparing the first eight months of this year to the same stretch of 2019.

Go deeper: The number of global methane hot spots has soared this year despite the economic slowdown (Washington Post)

Go deeper