European Commission’s legislative proposal on methane emissions ‘lacks ambition on imports’
While the package offers important technical measures for operators within the EU, the organisartion said, it was silent on the vast majority of Europe's methane footprint, which comes from imported natural gas.
Jill Duggan, executive director, Environmental Defense Fund Europe, said: "Imports make up 85% of European gas consumption, but most methane pollution from these sources occurs before the gas enters the EU. Yet under this proposal, these methane emissions remain unregulated. We have health and environmental rules for other imports, so why not natural gas?
"Cutting methane pollution is our best, fastest opportunity to slow the rate of warming now, while we move to decarbonise the economy. Unfortunately, the new EU plan fails to seize the moment.
“The onus now shifts to the European Parliament and Council to effectively address the bulk of Europe's methane footprint. Both can take inspiration from the international momentum generated around methane action in 2021.”
At the Glasgow UN Climate Talks, EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen and US President Joe Biden announced a global pledge with 100 plus countries to cut methane emissions 30% by 2030.
Methane pollution from fossil fuels, agriculture and waste account for over one-quarter of today's warming.
Heightened awareness over the need for climate actions that target the pollutants affecting both the scale and the speed at which the planet is warming has brought acute focus on methane.