Numerous civil society organisations and associations call for the regulation and reduction of methane leakage

  • The European Union’s “Methane Regulation” must improve the control, monitoring and reduction of methane emissions.
  • Methane has become an imminent threat to the climate and its control is essential for limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

Various social and environmental organisations and associations have united their voices in a manifesto, addressed to the Spanish government, demanding support at the European level for concrete measures to control and reduce methane emissions from the energy sector.

The European Union (EU) is at a crucial moment, given that it is in the midst of the trilogue negotiations to determine the first regulation on the control, monitoring and reduction of methane emissions in the energy sector before COP28.

Methane, a natural gas used in our homes, has become a dangerous contributor to climate change when released into the atmosphere. It is estimated that Methane traps up to 80 times more heat than carbon dioxide and its release is responsible for more than a third of the net increase in global temperature.

The manifesto “Reducing methane emissions in Europe, a pending task”, supported by organisations such as the International Institute for Law and the Environment (IIDMA), Greenpeace, SEO Birdlife, ECODES and Fundación Renovables, underlines the importance of controlling and reducing methane emissions in the energy sector, which accounts for a significant part of these emissions.

Methane emissions in this sector originate mainly from the extraction, production and processing of oil and gas, both intentionally, through venting and flaring, and accidentally through gas leaks.

According to the manifesto, reducing methane emissions by 50% over the next 30 years could mitigate the rise in global temperature by 0.2°C by 2050, a crucial step towards meeting important climate goals and avoiding irreversible climate tipping points. For this reason, and during this negotiation period, agreements will be proposed in the three chambers on the articles defined in the legislation for the regulation of methane.

The Spanish government’s advocacy to increase the ambition of such a regulation is essential to establish the foundation and a solid starting point to reduce methane emissions and maintain the EU’s climate leadership before COP28.

The signatories of the manifesto urge the Spanish government to increase the ambition of these regulations in order to maintain the EU’s climate leadership. To achieve this, they propose improvements and specific actions in several areas:

  • Emission reduction target: it is necessary to set a concrete target for the reduction of methane emissions, as well as an intensity target of 0.2%, to ensure effective results.
  • Leak detection and repair: quarterly inspections are required to detect and repair leaks in equipment and pipelines, which could reduce emissions by up to 90%.
  • Methane venting and flaring: reduce emissions from obsolete methane venting and flaring equipment, allowing venting in exceptional or unavoidable circumstances for safety reasons only.
  • Imports of natural gas and oil: to guarantee a greater impact, the new methane regulation should also cover imported energy, not only energy produced within the EU

Civil society and environmental organisations continue to protect our planet by pushing for concrete and ambitious measures to address this critical challenge. This petition to the Spanish government reflects the urgency of taking concrete measures to control methane emissions and their impact on climate change and calls on European authorities to adopt ambitious regulations on this issue.

SIGNATORIES: Alianza por el Clima, Amigos de la Tierra, Asociación Española de Educación Ambiental (AEEA), CECU, Federación de Consumidores y Usuarios, Eco-union, ECODES, Ecologistas en acción, Fundación Global Nature. Fundación Renovables, Greenpeace, Instituto Internacional de Derecho y Medio Ambiente (IIDMA), Plataforma por un Nuevo Modelo Energético, Projecte Eudemon, Red “Gas no es solución”, SEO Birdlife.

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