August is a slow month here in hot, sticky Washington, D.C., where your GMI Administrative Support Group (ASG) is based, but more exciting months are ahead. Here’s what’s coming up in September/October:
16th International Symposium and Exhibition on CBM/CMM and Shale Gas in China 12-14 September 2016: Jincheng, China
Held by the National Institute for Occupational Safety (NIOS) and the China Coal Information Institute (CCII), the International Symposium on CBM/CMM and Shale Gas in China is an international communication platform which brings together stakeholders to share experiences and project-oriented solutions to the problem of CBM/CMM development. The Symposium will also consider shale gas policies and development and commercialization strategies.
International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) World Congress 19-21 September 2016: Novi Sad, Serbia
How will Southeast Europe reach the standards and goals of waste management set out in the EU directive? We know that countries such as Austria, Sweden, Netherlands and Japan took more than 30 years to reach their current high levels of effective waste management. Can Southeast Europe meets its deadline in a decade? How and at what cost? How will this be financed? Which technologies will be used? What types of laws and regulations are needed to achieve this? How will authorities communicate to citizens the choices before them? What kind of lessons can be learned from the successful or failed attempts of other countries? Which sciences and studies can be applied in the region? These are the topics, challenges and debates expected at ISWA World Congress in Novi Sad in 2016.
Climate and Clean Air Coalition Working Group Meeting 20-21 September 2016: Paris, France
The Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) will hold its biannual Working Group Meeting in Paris, following the last Working Group Meeting at the Global Methane Forum. The focus of this Working Group Meeting will be learning more about the progress and impact of CCAC initiatives through interactive sessions. It will also involve discussion and agreement on changes to the CCAC partnership and governance following the work of the Task Team, including changes to streamline the funding process, and preparations for the High Level Assembly (HLA) in Marrakesh on the margins of COP22. A member of the GMI ASG will attend to represent GMI in its new role as non-state Partner. As this meeting is not open to the public, stay tuned for our report on the meeting.
24th World Mining Congress: Mining in a World of Innovation 18-21 October 2016: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The World Mining Congress is a world mining event that takes place every 3 years. The event aims to promote and support, both technically and scientifically, the cooperation for the national and international development of mineral areas and resources, and implement a global information network concerning mineral science, technology, economy, occupational health and safety and environmental protection.
11th Session Group of Experts on Coal Mine Methane / GMI Coal Subcommittee Meeting 24-25 October 2016: Geneva, Switzerland
The UNECE Group of Experts on Coal Mine Methane (CMM) undertakes and promotes activities aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from coal mines. Apart from its focus on reduction of the carbon footprint of the mining industry, the Group of Experts also works toward the improvement of underground mine safety conditions. Through its activities in the field of methane recovery and use, the Group of Experts helps to reduce the risk of coal mine explosions, and thus helps to save lives and avoid large-scale economic losses.
The meeting convened all the major players dedicated to methane mitigation in the oil & gas sector through policy development and technology demonstration and deployment. GAIL generously shared preliminary results from its testing of an innovative retrofit technology designed to cost-effectively capture methane emissions from wet seal centrifugal compressors. Additionally, some of the participating oil and gas production companies expressed interest in joining CCAC’s Oil & Gas Methane Partnership.
All in all, GMI’s Oil & Gas technical team remains impressed by India’s sustained commitment to methane reductions in the oil & gas sector, and looks forward to future collaborations with GMI stakeholders. Special thanks goes to Mr. S.P. Garg, GAIL’s General Manager, and Mr. Arvind Namdeo, GAIL’s Deputy General Manager for Health Safety, and Environment, for their leadership in organizing and convening the very successful event!
Over the coming weeks Methane International will feature presentations from the 2016 Global Methane Forum. First out of the gate is a set of presentations from the plenary session China’s Food Waste and Sludge Management Practices, Challenges, and Lessons Learned held on 29 March 2016.This session provided presentations and a panel discussion about current practices, challenges, and lessons learned for managing organic waste in China.
Director-General Zhang delivered a keynote address highlighting organic waste management challenges and successes in China. His talk introduced the audience to the state of affairs of waste management in China, setting the stage for the sector-specific presentations that followed. DG Zhang closed his remarks with a vision for “greening” Chinese cities through low carbon waste practices. He emphasized the connection between urban municipal solid waste and wastewater treatment and methane emissions and the opportunities for reducing these emissions in China.
Terry presented the results of a recently completed project on urban wastewater sewage sludge management in China, and summarized international best practices in sludge management. Currently, China mostly lacks advanced sludge management treatment but conditions are favorable for the introduction of new technologies and practices, particularly anaerobic digestion, and especially if incorporated into urban management plans. Terry closed by outlining some of the components of the World Bank’s recommended guidelines for developing an effective sludge management master plan for China.
Lijin Zhong, China Water Lead, and Vijay Jagannathan, Senior Fellow, with the World Resources Institute
Lijin and Vijay highlighted the importance of viewing waste as a resource and highlighted successful case studies of organic sludge-to-energy projects in China. Presentation and summary coming soon!
Li offered a private sector perspective on the challenges and opportunities for food waste management in China. She started with a general overview of the food waste market in China: the country currently produces more than 30 million tonnes of food waste per year, of which only about 30% is recycled. Food waste management faces several challenges in China, such as safe collection and sorting practices, frequent disconnect with local authorities, and a lack of new technology and efficient management systems. She highlighted as a case study example the new Bioland Food Waste Treatment Project in Nanning, China. Fully cooperating with municipal authorities to ensure a steady waste stream, the new project utilizes state-of-the-art technology to ensure efficient organic waste sorting, recycling, and anaerobic digestion of more than 200 tonnes of food waste per day, and produces biogas-upgraded compressed natural gas, fertilizer, and clean water.
Hello again from the Global Methane Forum conference site at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.! We had an incredibly successful concluding day of the Global Methane Initiative portion of this week’s proceedings.
The morning session on country-level methane policies featured the approach of five countries toward methane policy, with representatives:
Canada: Mike Beale, Assistant Deputy Minister, Environmental Stewardship Branch, Environment and Climate Change Canada;
Colombia: Eduardo Sanchez, Climate Change Advisor, Ministry of Mines and Energy;
Mexico: Maria Amparo Martínez, Institute of Ecology and Climate Change;
Philippines: Emmanuel de Guzman, Secretary of Climate Change, Climate Change Commission; and
United States: Rick Duke, Deputy Director for Climate Policy, White House Office of Energy and Climate Change.
The key take-away from the policy session was that policies to mitigate methane are not one-size-fits-all, and depend upon the key methane sources in each country and the various levels of government’s willingness and capacity to address these sources.
Following the policy roundtable, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched its latest methane-focused voluntary effort in the oil & gas sector, the Methane Challenge. The Methane Challenge will provide partner companies with a platform to make company-wide commitments to cut emissions from sources within their operations by implementing a suite of best management practices within 5 years. Representatives from 41 companies from across the value chain participated in the ceremony with EPA Acting Assistant Administrator in the Office of Air, Janet McCabe.
After the Methane Challenge launch, participants were treated to a keynote by the passionate, feisty EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy. Administrator McCarthy spoke about the value of methane mitigation in terms of environmental, health, and economic benefits, and how voluntary partnerships like GMI play an integral role.
“So much of our success to date has been possible because of the leadership and cooperation of the international community. When it comes to global challenges like climate change, partnerships and collaborations that can bridge national interests and bring us together are really the core, essential, ingredient for success,” she said.
Finally – the event we here at GMI had been awaiting – GMI’s Re-charter ceremony that officially extends GMI’s charter by a further 5 years, and formalizes new alliances with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) and United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). The ceremony featured speeches from GMI, CCAC, and UNECE by Joe Goffman, Associate Administrator and Senior Counsel, Office of Air and Radiation, U.S. EPA; Rita Cerutti, Director, Multilateral Affairs, Environment and Climate Change Canada and Co-chair, CCAC Working Group; and Christian Friis Bach, Executive Secretary, UNECE, respectively.
Following another afternoon of intense sector-focused technical and policy sessions in the biogas, coal mines, and oil & gas sectors, participants finally got to indulge in some socializing and networking at the official reception hosted by the U.S. State Department. We would like to thank supporters FLSmidth and GHGSat for their assistance in providing libations to all Forum participants at this reception.
Thank you to our 500+ participants of the Global Methane Forum! Presentations from the sessions will be available in a few weeks on our website. Stay posted to our Twitter account for the latest happenings during the rest of the week. Moving on to the CCAC Science & Policy Dialogue today…
Hello from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., USA, where we have just completed the first morning plenary session of the Global Methane Forum! We had a packed house of methane mitigation enthusiasts ready to discover the importance of mitigating methane as part of a near- and long-term strategy for implementing the COP21 goal of limiting global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.
The first session kicked off with a talk by GMI Steering Committee Chair & Acting Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Janet McCabe on methane’s critical role as a short-term climate forcer and the global cooperative efforts on its mitigation, including the Global Methane Initiative. She also detailed U.S. domestic plans for methane mitigation in the oil & gas sector, including the recent announcement with the government of Canada. Her talk was followed by a complementary discussion on the outcomes of COP21 and the implications of future methane work by the U.S. State Department’s Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change, Karen Florini. Ms. Florini also acts as a key player in the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), the co-host of the Forum.
As the policymakers exited the stage, the scientists entered – CCAC’s Climate Advisory Panel scientists Dr. Johan Kuylenstierna, Deputy Director, Stockholm Environment Institute, University of York, and Dr. Drew Shindell, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University. In a ‘tag team’ talk, Dr. Kuylenstierna and Dr. Shindell explained the far-reaching impacts of methane emissions not only as a climate forcer, but on air quality as well – which negatively impacts human health, agricultural crop yields, etc.
The final session of the morning featured a roundtable moderated by Dianne Rudo, during which the speakers detailed varying approaches to methane project financing, including:
Steven Wan, Fortman (Beijing) Clean Technology Co., Ltd., discussed establishing a public-private partnership with SinoSteel to finance coal mine methane projects.
Scott Cantor, Carbon Finance Specialist, World Bank described the World Bank’s new innovative, award-winning climate finance mechanism, the Pilot Auction Facility, based on providing a price guarantee for methane projects via auctioning put options.
Samuel Tumiwa, Deputy Regional Director, Asian Development Bank, outlined approaches to climate project financing in Asia, including smaller scale, easily replicated loans used to add biogas digesters to existing projects.
Bob Ichord, Ichord Ventures, LLC, discussed improving enabling environments for mitigating methane emissions from the oil & gas sector. As he noted, oil and gas production will not cease anytime soon, so we must deal with the emissions.
All in all, a successful morning. Stay tuned to our Twitter page for live updates, and please check our website in a few weeks for presentation materials from this morning.
The GMF will be held Monday-Wednesday, 28-30 March 2016 at the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center in Washington, D.C., USA. Back-to-back with the Forum, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) will be hosting a Science Policy Dialogue session on 31 March which will be open to all Forum attendees.
Unfortunately, online pre-registration for the Forum is now closed, but you can still register on site at the Forum on Tuesday morning!
What if I need a room overnight?
GMI’s block of rooms at the Georgetown Hotel and Conference Center is sold out. GMI is providing a free shuttle service Tuesday through Friday from the Key Bridge Marriott to the Forum, although the GMI block of rooms at that hotel is also sold out. However, there are many other hotels near the conference center or the shuttle pick-up point!
What if I can’t make it to D.C. for the Forum?
Although we won’t be broadcasting the Forum online, all the presentations from the Forum will be posted to globalmethane.org after the event.