The European Union on November 15 struck a deal on a law to tackle methane emissions from fossil fuels. Under the proposed law, coal, oil and gas companies would be required to report their methane emissions and take steps to avoid them. The measures under the first-of-its-kind law include finding and fixing leaks, and limiting wasteful practices such as venting and flaring gas by 2027.
While methane possesses more than 80 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period, it dissipates more quickly in the atmosphere. Reducing methane emissions is viewed as a cost-effective and straightforward approach to immediately mitigate the intensification of extreme weather events.
The recently approved EU regulations, jointly agreed upon by the European Parliament and the European Council, stipulate that fossil fuel companies must address identified leaks within a maximum of five days and fully rectify them within a month. By the end of the coming year, operators are required to assess their existing facilities and submit plans outlining steps to identify and address methane leaks.
Additionally, the rules will tackle imported fuels, potentially setting a higher standard for fossil fuel enterprises globally.