New rules on methane emissions will fight climate change

Author: Miguel Antony M Chevalier



Clean air pollution 002

Renew Europe welcomes today's plenary approval of the regulation to reduce methane emissions in the energy sector, as this vote marks another bold step forward to keep the EU's binding 2030 and long-term climate targets within reach.

Methane is a short-lived but hazardous greenhouse gas with a serious effect on global warming and a threat to our health. Methane gas is listed as the second largest contributor to climate change and is responsible for 10% of total greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, direct methane gas emissions, especially from the oil, fossil gas and coal sectors can be considered as the low-hanging fruit of climate protection. So, pick them and start avoiding man-made methane emissions without delay and you will be rewarded with a slowing of global warming within our lifetime.

MEP Pascal Canfin (L’Europe Ensemble, France), ENVI chair and rapporteur on this file, declared:

We need to regulate our methane emissions in the same way as we do with our CO2 emissions if we are to be consistent in the fight against climate change. I welcome the ambitious position that the Parliament has just adopted. This ambition is necessary to meet our international commitments. As the majority of our methane emissions are linked to our fossil fuel imports, I therefore welcome the extension of the scope of this Regulation to imports.

MEP Martin Hojsík (Progresívne Slovensko, Slovakia) Renew Europe Shadow rapporteur in ENVI and ITRE, says:

“We pledged at the COP26 in Glasgow to sharply cut our methane emissions. With an ambitious Methane Regulation we can show our partners that we not only talk to talk, but put our words into actions. Preventing methane emissions and capturing gas that would have previously been wasted, is one of the key tools towards climate neutrality. It is a solution that brings several benefits – slows down climate change and brings back valuable economic and energy source. And a proof that climate mitigation goes hand in hand with energy security and innovations. Renew Europe is ready to start negotiations with the other institutions and is committed to seek strong EU position at the next COP28.”

Renew Europe welcomes the European Parliament's green light for an appropriate legal framework to reduce methane emissions in the energy sector. This framework will ensure that emissions are better regulated and will henceforth set limits on wasted energy from leaks, flaring or venting during industrial processes. As a result, useful energy will no longer be wasted, leaks quickly plugged and the energy that has been captured can be used for more efficient purposes. Since more than 80% of the EU’s oil and gas consumption is imported, Renew Europe is pleased that Parliament has given its assent to extend the scope of this regulation to imports, which is fully in line with Renew Europe's call for equivalency.


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