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Big Oil Companies Pledge to Slash Potent Methane Emissions


On Monday, a group of oil and gas companies pledged to slash emissions of methane emissions to a fifth by 2025 to battle climate change. Methane is roughly 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a heat-trapping gas.

The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), which the United State’s Exxon Mobil and Chevron joined recently, committed to cutting methane emissions to an intensity of 0.25 percent of the group’s total fossil fuel production. This reduction equates to 350,000 tons of methane annually. The pledge, could be lowered further to 0.20 percent intensity, which is the target set individually by members BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon to reduce methane emissions.

The OGCI currently represents a third of global oil and gas production. It also includes France’s Total as well as national oil companies of China, Mexico, Brazil and Saudi Arabia.

Climate Investment Fund

The OGCI also announced the creation of a $100 million China-focused climate investment fund with China National Petroleum Corporation. The group is investing in new technologies, including satellite imagery, to help measure and detect methane leaks from pipelines, wells and other infrastructure. This technology is expected to measure global emissions, which can help the companies fix and operate as well as they should in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement.

Skepticism by Environmental Watch Group

The aim of those in the OGCI is to work towards near zero methane emissions from the full gas value chain in support of achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. However, the Environment Defense Fund, a non-governmental organization, is skeptical of the progress due to lack of transparency in measuring methane emissions to meet the target.

Also, the Environmental Defense Fund said it’s possible for laggards in the industry to hide behind the efforts of OGCI, falsely claiming that the actions of an important few represent what all in the industry are doing.

[via Reuters]

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