June News Round-Up

June was a somewhat quiet month in methane-related news, so let’s start with some shameless promotion of friends:

First, Scientific American profiled how a Chinese company, TOVEN, creatively turned the city of Xiangyang’s sewage sludge problem into an opportunity. (See our re-blog and trip dispatch too).

Second, our friend, and a supporter of the Global Methane Forum in March, GHGSat, launched its satellite technology designed to measure the carbon dioxide and methane emissions leaking from Alberta’s sprawling tar sands operations, and eventually fossil fuel operations anywhere. We look forward to following GHGSat’s results!

Perhaps the biggest news of the month came from our friends Canada and Mexico which held the ‘Three Amigos’ summit along with the United States in Ottawa, Canada. These three GMI Partner Countries committed to an ambitious goal of North America generating at least 50 percent of its energy from “clean” sources by 2025. As part of the new partnership, Mexico also will agree to join Canada and the United States in decreasing methane emissions.

In other news, researchers from Oxford University pointed out the flaws of measuring the effects of methane in terms of carbon dioxide equivalent, and suggested a new way to measure methane that highlights the considerable differences in how each gas contributes to warming.

Finally, a new study names several American oil & gas companies as the largest methane emissions culprits, citing their aggregate emissions to be the equivalent of running seven coal-fired power plants for a year. Relatedly, NASA released images taken from space of the massive Aliso Canyon methane leak.

See you at the end of July!

 

June Methane News Round-Up

 

GMI Steering Committee Announces Canada as New Co-Chair

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Mike Beale, speaking at the Global Methane Forum in March 2016.

As part of GMI’s charter extension announced at the Global Methane Forum, the Steering Committee will transition to a Co-Chair model. The Steering Committee governs the overall framework, policies and procedures of GMI and provides guidance to the Administrative Support Group (ASG) and subcommittees. We are pleased to officially announce Canada as the newest Co-Chair for the next two years. The ASG wishes to thank Canada for stepping forward and welcomes its willingness to take on this new leadership role.

Mike Beale, Assistant Deputy Minister of the Environmental Stewardship Branch at Environment and Climate Change Canada, will take the reins on Canada’s behalf. Mr. Beale is excited to take on the Co-Chair role at this important juncture as we all work to implement the Paris Agreement. He believes methane mitigation is critical in support of this effort, and as a short-lived climate pollutant, in support of our goal of limiting global warming to less than 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. You may remember Mr. Beale’s presentation during the Policy Roundtable of the Global Methane Forum. His bio:

Mike Beale is currently the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Environmental Stewardship Branch at Environment and Climate Change Canada. His responsibilities include greenhouse gas and air pollution regulations, management of chemicals, implementation of the Species at Risk Act, Migratory Birds Convention Act, and the Pollution Prevention provisions of the Fisheries Act, as well as providing advice on environmental assessment.

Mr. Beale is an economist by training. Prior to joining Environment Canada in 1989, he spent 8 years working in energy policy at what was then Energy, Mines and Resources Canada.

The United States will continue to serve as Co-Chair until another volunteer is confirmed. We are looking forward to Canada’s leadership over the next two years!

GHGSat to Launch Today!

The Canadian-based GHGSat, a longtime GMI Project Network member, as well as a supporter of the Global Methane Forum in March 2016, is ready to launch CLAIRE, its innovative methane detection satellite.

The launch, from India’s Satish Dhawan Space Centre, will occur tonight at 11:56 pm (Washington, D.C., USA time)! You can check out the live webcast of the launch on Indian media.

For more information about the satellite’s capabilities, Inside Climate News just published a fantastic article all about the launch. Or head over to GHGSat’s website for the latest news and watch the countdown tick down.

T-MINUS NINE HOURS…

Global Methane Forum Speaker Highlights – Ricardo Hamdan

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Ricardo Hamdan, North America Sales Manager, Greenlane Biogas

Ricardo Hamdan has nearly a decade of experience in renewable natural gas and biogas technology. He is currently the Sales Manager for North America for Greenlane Biogas in Vancouver, Canada, where he has been instrumental in the sale and completion of a broad array of biogas projects around the world, including landfills, wastewater treatment plants, and large-scale animal waste digesters. At the Global Methane Forum, Mr. Hamdan will present on Small Scale Biogas Upgrading Case Studies.

Founded in 1986 in Auckland, New Zealand, Greenlane Biogas is one of the world’s largest suppliers of biogas upgrading technology, including biogas to biomethane. Greenlane Biogas is an independent technology solution provider, offering water wash systems, pressure swing adsorption and membrane systems to clients of all sizes, from small-scale installations to extensive district and industrial biomethane facilities (input rates between 50 and 2500 cubic meters per hour). The two largest biogas-upgrading plants in the world—at Güstrow, Germany and Montreal, Canada—use Greenlane’s pressurized water scrubbing systems.

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Greenlane Biogas TOTARA biogas upgrading equipment.

Mr. Hamdan speaks regularly on topics relating to anaerobic digestion, biogas upgrading and renewable natural gas policy and regulation. He is an active member of the American Biogas Council and the Biogas Association of Canada. He has spoken at several global industry conferences, including the BioCycle Conference, the Global Methane Initiative’s Methane Expo, and the Latin American Carbon Forum.

New U.S.-Canada O&G Regulations and GMI O&G Video

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!

Global Methane Forum Highlights – GHGSat

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Did you know that GHGSat, one of GMI’s Project Network organizations and a supporter of next month’s Global Methane Forum, is ramping up to launch a new satellite this year?

GHGSat offers methane detection, measurement and monitoring services, using its innovative satellite technology. After its launch in April, their state-of-the-art greenhouse gas (GHG)-monitoring satellite (named “CLAIRE”) will begin an emissions monitoring project in conjunction with Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance. Once in orbit and fully operational, CLAIRE will start taking measurements of methane emissions from two tailings ponds and one mine face.

Ultimately, GHGSat’s platform will be able to measure carbon dioxide and methane emissions from individual industrial facilities, anywhere in the world, with high precision and at lower cost than comparable alternatives. Since the same satellite can measure any facility in the world, GHGSat can provide consistent, reliable measurements across jurisdictions. GHGSat was also named on the 2016 GreenTec Awards’ Top 10 in the Production category!

For more information, see www.ghgsat.com or contact them at info@ghgsat.com.