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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Dozens of oil-and-gas companies — including the big ones like BP, Shell and Total — are pledging to provide more detailed information about their methane emissions.

Why it matters: Methane is a very strong planet-warming gas and atmospheric concentrations keep rising, as new World Meteorological Organization data shows. Releases or leaks from oil-and-gas well sites, pipeline and other infrastructure are a key source.

Driving the news: The 6-year-old Oil and Gas Methane Partnership (OGMP) yesterday announced its "2.0" reporting framework as well as new targets and expanded membership.

  • A summary notes that the framework now applies to the "full oil and gas value chain."
  • That means not only production sites, "but also midstream transportation and downstream processing and refining — areas with substantial emissions potential that are often left out of reporting today."
  • They also announced a new target of seeing a 45% cut in industry methane emissions by 2025 and 60% to 75% reduction by 2030.

Where it stands: The group says membership now represents 30% of worldwide oil-and-gas production — although U.S. giants ExxonMobil and Chevron are not involved, nor are most state-owned oil companies, Reuters notes.

  • OGMP is a collaboration between the UN, the European Commission and the Environmental Defense Fund.

Of note: Also via Reuters, the group "says it differs from other initiatives in that it requires members to report methane emissions at an asset level, rather than across the whole company, and in that it covers facilities in joint ventures, even if the operator of such sites has not subscribed to OGMP."

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 28, 2021 - Energy & Environment

GM plans to end sales of gasoline powered cars by 2035

GM CEO Mary Barra at the GM Orion Assembly Plant plant for electric and self-driving vehicles in Michigan. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

General Motors is setting a worldwide target to end sales of gasoline and diesel powered cars, pickups and SUVs by 2035, the automaker said Thursday.

Why it matters: GM's plan marks one of the auto industry's most aggressive steps to transform their portfolio to electric models that currently represent a tiny fraction of overall sales.

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.