Methane Global Tracker Report

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    • IEA Report Highlights Failure of Fossil Fuel Firms to Curb Methane Emissions.

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    • IEA’s annual Methane Global Tracker report has recently highlighted that the fossil fuel companies have failed to take substantial action to curb methane emissions
    • Report also shows that 75% of methane emissions can be reduced with cheap and readily available technology.
    • Previously, around 150 countries have joined the Global Methane Pledge which aims to reduce methane emissions from human activity by 30% from 2020 levels by 2030.
    • In its part, India has committed to reducing the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33-35% below 2005 levels by 2030.
    • By 2030, all fossil fuel producers in the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 scenario will have an emissions intensity similar to the world’s best operators today.

    Major findings of the Report:

    • Energy sector accounts for around 40% of total average methane emissions.
    • Fossil fuel companies emitted 120 million metric tonnes of methane in 2022.
    • 80% of available options to curb methane emissions can be implemented at net zero cost.
    • Implementing methane reduction measures would cost less than 3% of net income received by the oil and gas industry in 2022.
    • Reduction of 75% of natural gas wastage could lower global temperature rise by nearly 0.1 degree Celsius by mid-century.
    • Methane is a greenhouse gas responsible for 30% of warming since preindustrial times, second only to carbon dioxide.
    • Over a 20-year period, methane is 80 times more potent at warming than carbon dioxide.

    Impact of Methane Emissions on Climate Change:

    • Methane has an important short-term influence on the rate of climate change.
    • Atmospheric levels of methane jumped 17 parts per billion in 2021, beating the previous record set in 2020.

    International Energy Agency (IEA)

    • It is an intergovernmental organization established in 1974 based in Paris as a response to physical disruptions in global oil supplies and to promote energy savings and conservation.
    • IEA’s mission is to promote reliable, affordable, and clean energy for its member countries and the rest of the world.
    • The IEA provides policy recommendations, analysis, and data on the global energy sector, representing 31 member countries and 11 association countries that account for 75% of global energy demand.
    • The Agreement on an International Energy Program (IEP Agreement) established the mandates and structure of the IEA under the umbrella of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
    • Only OECD member states may join the IEA and the members are required to maintain total oil stock levels equivalent to at least 90 days of the previous year’s net imports.
    • Association countries was formally launched in 2015 and currently includes 11 countries with Ukraine joining formally in 2022.
    • Key publications
      • World Energy Outlook (WEO)
      • Net Zero by 2050: a roadmap for the global energy sector
      • Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP)
      • Global EV Outlook (GEVO)
      • Oil Market Report
      • World Energy Investment
      • Clean Energy Transitions Programme
    • In recent years, IEA has come under several criticisms for systematically underestimating the role of renewable energy sources in future energy systems such as photovoltaics and their cost reductions.

    Important steps taken by India to control methane emissions:

    • National Biodiversity Act: The government has launched it to protect and conserve biodiversity, which includes the reduction of methane emissions.
    • Paris Agreement: India is a signatory to the agreement which aims to limit global warming to below 2°C and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C.
    • National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC): It has a specific mission to reduce emissions from agriculture by promoting low-emission technologies and practices in agriculture, such as the use of organic fertilizers and better livestock management.
    • Push for Renewables: The government has also launched several schemes to promote the use of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, which can help reduce the dependence on fossil fuels and the associated methane emissions.
    • National Green Tribunal: It has the power to adjudicate on environmental disputes and enforce laws related to environmental protection, including methane emissions.
    • National Clean Energy Fund: It was set up by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to support research and development of clean energy technologies and projects.

    Way ahead:

    • Fossil fuel companies need to take substantial action to curb methane emissions in consonance with the policymakers to address the issue.
    • Reduction of methane emissions is among the cheapest options to limit near-term global warming.
    • While these steps are aimed at reducing methane emissions, there is still much more that needs to be done to effectively control and reduce methane emissions especially in India.

    Source: TH