More than a dozen Ministers from countries around the world released a statement earlier this week 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 more than 8% of total worldwide natural gas production is lost annually to venting, leakage, and flaring. In addition to US$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, more than 80% 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 design collaboratively 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, 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).