The International Energy Agency (IEA) says that oil and gas companies are not doing enough to cut methane emissions, despite methane cuts being among the cheapest options to limit near-term global warming
According to IEA’a latest annual Global Methane Tracker report, emissions from the energy sector rose slightly last year to 135 million tons, slightly below the record set in 2019.
IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said that while some progress is being made, there is no excuse for emissions still far too high and not falling fast enough.
Around 30 percent of the increase in global temperatures during the Industrial Revolution can be attributed to methane. Methane emissions may prove to be the most effective approach to slow down short-term global warming and quickly improve air quality because they have a quicker and more significant impact than carbon dioxide decreases.
Only agriculture produces more methane emissions than the energy sector, which is responsible for almost 40 percent of all emissions linked to human activity.
According to the IEA, current technology could cut methane emissions from fossil fuel activities by about 70 percent.
The IEA added that based on the record gas prices in 2022, about 80 percent of the emission reduction options from oil and gas operations worldwide could be implemented at no net cost.
According to the IEA, $100 billion, or less than 3 percent of the revenue earned by oil and gas corporations globally last year, would be sufficient to reduce methane emissions by 75%.
The IEA asserted that halting all non-emergency methane flaring and venting is the most effective step nations can take to reduce emissions.
The IEA believes that to achieve net zero methane emissions by 2050 and keep the average increase in global temperature well below the two degrees Celsius set by the 2015 Paris Climate Accords, methane emissions from the fossil fuel sector must be reduced by 75 percent by 2030.