Methane emissions from the energy sector remained “stubbornly high” when they should be declining rapidly – by 75% – this decade.
That’s one of the key findings of the new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) which suggests the global energy industry was responsible for 135 million tonnes of methane released into the atmosphere in 2022.
This was only slightly below the record highs seen in 2019, the IEA’s Global Methane Tracker stresses.
Currently, the energy sector accounts for around 40% of total methane emissions attributable to human activity, second only to agriculture.
IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said: “Our new Global Methane Tracker shows that some progress is being made but that emissions are still far too high and not falling fast enough – especially as methane cuts are among the cheapest options to limit near-term global warming. There is just no excuse.
“The Nord Stream pipeline explosion last year released a huge amount of methane into the atmosphere. But normal oil and gas operations around the world release the same amount of methane as the Nord Stream explosion every single day.”
In response to the findings of the report, Anatoli Smirnov, Methane Analyst at energy think tank Ember, said: “Coal is still one of the biggest culprits when it comes to methane.
“More than a year on from the Global Methane Pledge we’ve yet to see improvements. The IEA’s report shows that it is possible to mitigate most of the world’s coal mine methane emissions at low cost.”