BP, Eni, ExxonMobil, Repsol, Shell, Statoil, Total and Wintershall today committed to further reduce methane emissions from the natural gas assets they operate around the world. The energy companies also agreed to encourage others across the natural gas value chain – from production to the final consumer – to do the same.
The commitment was made as part of wider efforts by the global energy industry to ensure that natural gas continues to play a critical role in helping meet future energy demand while addressing climate change. Since natural gas consists mainly of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, its role in the transition to a low-carbon future will be influenced by the extent to which methane emissions are reduced.
“Numerous studies have shown the importance of quickly reducing methane emissions if we’re to keep the global temperature rise to well below two degrees,” said Mark Radka, Head of UN Environment’s Energy and Climate Branch. “The Guiding Principles provide an excellent framework for doing so across the entire natural gas value chain, particularly if they’re linked to programmes on measurement and reporting.”
The eight energy companies today signed a Guiding Principles document, which focuses on continually reducing methane emissions; advancing strong performance across gas value chains; improving accuracy of methane emissions data; advocating sound policies and regulations on methane emissions; and increasing transparency.
The Guiding Principles were developed in collaboration with Columbia University, the Environmental Defense Fund, the International Energy Agency, the International Gas Union, the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative Climate Investment Fund, the Rocky Mountain Institute, the Sustainable Gas Institute, the Energy and Resources Institute, University of Texas-Austin, and United Nations Environment.