Over a dozen Ministers from countries around the world released a statement today calling for accelerated action to substantially reduce venting, leakage, and flaring of natural gas from oil and gas operations worldwide. Specifically, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition intends to work with leading oil and gas companies to achieve substantial global methane and black carbon emission reductions.
It is estimated that over 8 percent of total worldwide natural gas production is lost annually to venting, leakage, and flaring. In addition to U.S. $27 to $63 billion in energy and economic losses, these activities result in nearly two gigatons of CO2 equivalent of greenhouse gas emissions per year, over 80 percent of which are methane emissions making oil and gas operations the second-largest source of global anthropogenic methane emissions behind agriculture. Flaring releases substantial amounts of black carbon, which is particularly harmful to human health and areas like the Arctic.
The Climate and Clean Air Coalition aims to help companies accelerate and expand voluntary emission reductions where there are cost-effective opportunities to do so, and to showcase progress by companies that are already taking significant action. This effort will build upon and scale-up the achievements of the Natural Gas STAR International Program, the Global Methane Initiative, and the Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership.
The Coalition will work with leading oil and gas companies to collaboratively design an initiative that will quickly and meaningfully achieve substantial climate, air quality, health, environmental, operational, and financial benefits. Initial CCAC engagement with interested oil and gas companies is commencing and will accelerate over the coming months. Ministers from additional CCAC countries are also expected to join the effort.
The Coalition (www.unep.org/CCAC), which was launched by six countries and the UN Environment Programme in February 2012, now consists of 28 state partners and other key institutions like the World Bank, and is already acting on several fronts to reduce short-lived climate pollutants such as methane, black carbon, and many hydroflourocarbons (HFCs).
Quotes on the CCAC from Companies, Associations, and Investors
"Our 10 years of experience through the World Bank Global Gas Flaring Reduction initiative has shown that cooperation between industry and authorities can make a difference. Statoil is also working with the Global Methane Initiative, finding ways to address methane emission reduction. Jointly with our industry peers, we are looking forward to exploring the role oil and gas companies could play vis a vis CCAC."
Hege Norheim, Head of Corporate Sustainability, Statoil
"IPIECA members recognise the challenges posed by short-lived climate forcers and the need for their effective and efficient management across society globally, and acknowledge the formation of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC). We look forward to engaging with the CCAC as its structure develops, emissions of SLCF's are better quantified, and the roles of the various partners are defined."
IPIECA, the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues, < http://www.ipieca.org/news/20130122/ipieca-releases-statement-formation-climate-and-clean-air-coalition >
"Methane venting and leakage from oil and gas production results in substantial economic and environmental costs. Investors are concerned with these costs and have been working with companies to ensure methane leakage is measured and effectively tackled. Ministerial support for the Climate and Clean Air Coalition is welcome one and we hope will accelerate global efforts to achieve voluntary reductions by companies. Governments also have a very important role to play by ensuring regulation is in place for reducing methane emissions. Alongside governments and industry, we look forward to making further progress on this issue in the coming months."
Stephanie Pfeifer, executive director of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) which represents 77 European investors with $10 trillion of assets under management
"Methane emissions from oil and gas operations waste natural gas and contribute to climate change, as methane is a potent greenhouse gas. Investors are concerned about the risk posed by these emissions and welcome the initiative by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to promote voluntary reductions in these emissions, which can be reduced or eliminated through application of current best practices."
Chris Davis, Director of Investor Programs at Ceres and the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), representing 100 US investors with $11 trillion of assets under management
Background on the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC)
The Climate and Clean Air Coalition (www.unep.org/CCAC) is a voluntary, collaborative global partnership uniting governments, intergovernmental organizations, the private sector, and civil society to quickly reduce short-lived climate pollutants such as methane, black carbon, and many hydroflourocarbons (HFCs). The Coalition is focusing high-level attention to catalyze major reductions that can be undertaken now using existing technologies.
Aggressive action on these pollutants could head off 0.5 degrees Celsius of warming by 2050, prevent over two million premature deaths each year, and avoid over 30 million tons of annual crop losses by 2030. The Coalition seeks to build upon and scale-up existing efforts focused on short-lived climate pollutants such as the Global Methane Initiative, Arctic Council, and Montreal Protocol and is complementary to efforts reducing carbon dioxide.
Since its launch in February 2012, the Coalition has grown from 7 partners to more than 50, currently consisting of Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Republic of Korea, Republic of Maldives, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States, as well as other key parties like the European Commission, the UN Environmental Programme, the World Bank, and the Environmental Defense Fund. The Coalition has established a Science Advisory Panel composed of world-renowned scientists, including Nobel Laureate Mario Molina and IPCC co-chair Youba Sokona to ensure the Coalition's work is guided by the best and latest science.
The Coalition is currently implementing seven international initiatives:
- Reducing methane from the municipal solid waste sector, including landfills;
- Reducing black carbon from diesel vehicles and engines;
- Reducing SLCPs and other greenhouse gases from brick production;
- HFC alternative technology and standards promotion;
- Financing promotion;
- National action plans; and
- Accelerating cost-effective reductions of short-lived climate pollutants from global oil and natural gas operations.