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Regulation to Cut Methane Emissions Adopted

On 27 May, the Council of Ministers adopted the first-ever EU rules to curb methane emissions from the energy sector in Europe and across the globe, marking an important step in the implementation of the European Green Deal

As recommended by EASAC, the new regulation highlights the 20-year global warming potential of methane (80 times that of CO2) alongside the widely used 100-year value

It obliges the fossil gas, oil and coal industry in Europe to measure, monitor, report and verify their methane emissions according to the highest monitoring standards, and to take action to reduce them. It requires EU gas, oil and coal operators to stop avoidable and routine flaring and to reduce flaring and venting to situations such as emergencies, technical malfunctions or when it is necessary for safety reasons.

With large parts of the EU's gas consumption being imported, the regulation also seeks to reduce methane emissions from gas imports, notably LNG. The regulation will progressively introduce more stringent requirements to ensure that exporters gradually apply the same monitoring, reporting and verification obligations as EU operators.

The European Parliament had already given its green light on 10 April. On this occasion, EASAC's Environment and Energy Programme Directors had expressed their satisfaction that the EU is acting to implement the Global Methane Pledge made at COP26 in Glasgow. But they also note that "There is so much more that the companies responsible for massive leaks could and should be doing - even for their own narrow commercial interests."

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