The bosses of major oil companies and government officials have agreed to end routine gas flaring at oil production sites across the globe.
Companies including Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil, Kuwait Oil Co. and countries such as Russia, Norway and France were among those that made a commitment to end the practice by 2030 last week.
Every year around 140 billion cubic meters of natural gas made with oil is wasted as it is burned or “flared” at thousands of oil fields around the world.
That results in more than 300 million tons of CO2 released into the atmosphere – equivalent to emissions from around 77 million cars. If this gas was used for power, it could provide more electricity (750bn kWh) than what the entire African continent is using today, according to the World Bank.
The ‘Zero Routine Flaring by 2030’ initiative has so far been backed by nine countries, 10 oil companies and six development institutions – which together represents more than 40% of global gas flaring.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said: “Gas flaring is a visual reminder that we are wastefully sending CO2 into the atmosphere. We can do something about this. Together we can take concrete action to end flaring and to use this valuable natural resource to light the darkness for those without electricity.”