Jun 28, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Despite global pledge, methane emissions are increasing

Photo illustration of a pipeline with abstract shapes.
Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: Ashley Cooper/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

Methane emissions are sharply increasing despite a global consensus to crack down on the powerful global warming gas, according to new data from the French methane tracking firm Kayrros.

  • The new report, based on satellite data, examines some of the biggest energy-producing regions in the world, including the U.S., Iraq, Kuwait, Algeria, Iran and Turkmenistan.

Why it matters: Methane acts on much shorter timescales than carbon dioxide, and emissions cuts could reduce near-term warming. Its major sources include oil and gas drilling and infrastructure, landfills and agriculture.

  • A coalition of more than 100 nations is taking part in the voluntary Global Methane Pledge, which looks to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030.

Zoom in: The report released Monday found that major oil, gas and coal-producing basins, including the Permian in the U.S., have seen increases in methane emissions so far this year that exceed an uptick in energy production.

  • The report found there was a 33% increase in methane emissions from the Permian Basin between the first quarter of 2022 and the previous quarter.
  • Much of the increase comes from small, privately-owned operators, the report states. These firms tend not to publicly report their methane emissions and have not committed to reducing them, it notes.

What they're saying: “This is an alarm call for the fossil fuel industry," said Antoine Halff, co-founder and chief analyst at Kayrros, in a statement.

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