New global initiative targets methane emissions from energy industry

The project aims to close the gap between observed methane emissions and those reported at the company level

Pathway to COP26 report

The International Energy Forum (IEF) has launched a new initiative aimed at reducing methane emissions from the energy industry and tackling climate change.

The Methane Measurement Methodology Project will develop a measurement methodology for methane emissions, allowing IEF member countries to collect standardised data to address a major cause of global warming.

Conducted in partnership with advanced observation and data analytics company Kayrros, the project aims to close the gap between observed methane emissions and those reported at the company level.

Experts estimate that currently reported methane emissions, which are powerful greenhouse gases, are around 10% of what is observed by satellite.

Many energy companies have targeted methane by reducing emissions from natural gas production and distribution systems, with common approaches including decreasing or eliminating gas venting, replacing older equipment with new low-emission equipment and enhancing leak detection and repair programmes.

The new initiative is expected to provide IEF countries and their energy industries to consider the best available data on methane emissions, define their historical methane baseline and set mitigation goals in a “transparent and consistent manner”.

IEF Secretary General Joseph McMonigle said: “Methane emissions are a leading driver of climate change, second only to carbon dioxide. Therefore, it is critical for countries to focus on methane reductions for the world to address climate change and this IEF methane initiative will help member countries make progress in meeting our climate goals.”

The methodology will rely on satellite data from Sentinel-5P, part of the Copernicus constellation of satellites operated by the European Space Agency, with artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced algorithms to detect and measure methane emissions.

Antoine Rostand, Founder and President of Kayrros added: “With Kayrros’s advanced technology, systematic detection, measurement and attribution of large methane emissions is now a reality.

“Eliminating methane hotspots is key to ensuring that the world reaches the Paris goal of keeping global warming below 2°C by 2050. Our real-time detection technology will play a role in making that possible.”

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