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The European Commission recently announced that the EU Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement on a new regulation to reduce methane emissions – a major contributor to climate change. The EU is looking to cut back on methane emissions in order to reach their goal of a 55% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030. The new regulation seeks to accomplish this by requiring reporting and reduction of methane emissions across the energy sector. The press release from the Commission states that the regulation will:

“It will oblige the fossil gas, oil and coal industry to properly measure, monitor, report and verify their methane emissions according to the highest monitoring standards, and take action to reduce them. Today’s agreement comes just a few weeks ahead of COP28, where the EU will continue its engagement with international partners on reducing methane emissions.”

The new regulation will apply to domestic methane use and methane in the EU’s global energy supply chain. A methane transparency database where reported emissions will be established and viewable by the public. A performance profile of countries and companies based on their methane use will also be established.

While methane has been marketed by fossil fuels companies as a “bridge fuel” to reduce carbon emissions, the efficacy of that label has been questioned. Methane has about 80 times the greenhouse gas warming potential of CO2, making methane emissions and leaks substantial contributors to climate change. Those using methane as a substitute for other fossil fuels should consider the potential adverse effects of methane use and potential implications of new regulations targeting methane emissions.

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The Editor

Zachary Barlow is a licensed attorney. He earned his JD from the University of Mississippi and has a bachelor’s in Public Policy Leadership. He practiced law at a mid-size firm and handled a wide variety of cases. During this time he assisted in overseeing compliance of a public entity and litigated contract disputes, gaining experience both in and outside of the courtroom. Zachary currently assists the editorial team by providing research and creating content on a spectrum of ESG… View Profile