Climate change

Reduction on methane emissions critical on climate change action, IEA reports

Methane emissions are one of the major causes of global warming. The emissions are the second-largest contributor to global warming after carbon dioxide emissions. Although carbon dioxide receives much attention, reducing methane gas emissions will be crucial in avoiding the worst effects of climate change.

The energy sector is one of the largest sources of methane emissions through oil, coal, natural gas, and biogas. The efforts to reduce methane emissions have always been held back by a lack of reliable data.
The International Energy Agency launched a methane tracker in 2019 to reconcile the conflicting sources of data into a coherent set of estimates.

It focused on emissions from oil and gas operations which have the potential to reduce the emissions.
Although methane has a short lifetime in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, it has an important implication on climate change.
The IEA data shows that oil and natural gas emitted around 70 Mt of methane (2.1Gt CO2-eq) in 2020 is over 5% of global energy-related emissions. According to report statistics, oil production operations account for 40% while leaks from natural gas leak 60% of the gas emissions.

The reduction of methane gas emissions is one of the most cost-effective and impactful actions governments across the world can adopt to achieve climate action goals. Governments should develop policies and regulations tailored to their local circumstances to cut the emissions.

IEA noted that methane reductions have faced enormous challenges due to barriers existing within the sector such as:
There has been an information gap in many companies about methane on its environmental impacts, the level, and source of emissions from company operations.
Limited capital capacity to invest methane reduction opportunities and,
Infrastructural challenges facilities for the transmission of the products.

Through the report, IEA advised the governments across the globe to adopt policy change and regulatory tools to cut emissions. Policies should include education training strategies, monitoring, reporting of emissions about international reporting standards, knowledge sharing, and encourage best practices.

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