BIG news today for reducing methane! In his first official visit to Washington, D.C., Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, alongside U.S. President Barack Obama, announced coordinated action on methane emissions in the oil and gas sector. Specifically, the leaders commit to reduce methane emissions by 40-45% below 2012 levels by 2025 from the oil and gas sector, and explore new opportunities for additional methane reductions.
To achieve this target, both countries have committed to regulating existing sources of methane emissions in the oil and gas sector:
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will begin developing regulations for methane emissions from existing oil and gas sources immediately and will move as expeditiously as possible to complete this process. In April, EPA will start a formal process to require companies operating existing methane emission sources to provide information to assist in development of comprehensive standards to decrease methane emissions.
- Environment and Climate Change Canada will also regulate methane emissions from new and existing oil and gas sources. Environment and Climate Change Canada will move, as expeditiously as possible, to put in place national regulations in collaboration with provinces/territories, Indigenous Peoples and stakeholders. Environment and Climate Change Canada intends to publish an initial phase of proposed regulations by early 2017.
The agreed-upon framework also includes several key objectives:
- Work collaboratively on federal measures to reduce methane emissions: Building on the Canada-United States Air Quality Agreement, both countries will work collaboratively on programs, policies, and strategies, and share experiences on reducing oil and gas methane emissions as they implement their respective federal regulations, beginning this year.
- Improve data collection, transparency, and R&D and share knowledge of cost-effective methane reduction technologies and practices: To ensure their actions are based on the best available data and technology, Canada and the United States will work together to improve methane data collection and emissions quantification and transparency of emissions reporting in North America, and share knowledge of cost-effective methane reduction technologies and practices.
- Jointly endorse the World Bank’s Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 Initiative: Reflecting their increasing concern about the climate, environment, and energy security impacts of oil and gas flaring, particularly in sensitive regions such as the Arctic, Canada and the United States commit to jointly endorse the World Bank’s Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 Initiative, and report annually on progress.
GMI has been working in the oil and gas sector around the world since 2004. We recently created a video on oil & gas methane emission sources and mitigation methods. Check it out!