EU Reaches Agreement to Regulate Methane Emissions in Fossil Fuel Sector
Posted 16/11/2023 13:40
The European Union (EU) has achieved a provisional political agreement on a law aimed at monitoring and limiting methane emissions from the oil, gas, and coal sectors. This regulation introduces new requirements for these sectors, mandating the measurement, reporting, and verification of methane emissions. It also compels energy companies to adopt mitigation measures, including the detection and repair of methane leaks and restrictions on venting and flaring.
The legislation extends its impact beyond EU borders by placing regulations on fossil fuel imports, impacting oil and gas importers. The agreement outlines a three-phase implementation for fossil fuel imports, including data collection, the creation of a global monitoring tool, and equivalent monitoring measures by exporters to the EU.
The regulation seeks to ensure transparency on methane emissions from oil, gas, and coal imports, introducing global monitoring tools. The agreement allows EU member states to impose administrative penalties if the specified provisions are not met by exporters.
For potential methane emissions within the EU, operators must submit reports at various intervals, including quantification reports, direct measurements, site-level measurements, and measurements of non-operated assets. The regulation requires yearly reports from operators, contributing to efforts to reduce methane emissions, a potent greenhouse gas.
The provisional agreement, part of the "Fit for 55" legislative package, is viewed as a crucial contribution to climate action. Teresa Ribera Rodríguez, the acting Spanish third vice-president of the government and minister for ecological transition and the demographic challenge, emphasized the importance of reducing methane emissions to achieve the EU's climate goals.
The regulation also addresses methane leak regulations, specifying minimum detection limits within 12 months of the law taking effect. It outlines repair or replacement timelines for components following the detection of a leak, emphasizing prompt action to mitigate methane emissions.
The agreement now moves to the final approval phase, with the requirements becoming mandatory after the law enters into force. The proposal aligns with the EU's commitment to climate neutrality by 2050.