News Oil & Gas

Canada and the United States to take further actions to address emissions from North American oil and gas sector


SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, Nov. 10, 2022 /CNW/ – Today at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, together welcomed continued close collaboration between Canada and the United States to further reduce methane emissions from their respective oil and gas operations.

Both countries agree that significant opportunities exist to eliminate routine venting and flaring, enhance leak detection and repair, and address problems such as blow-downs and other potentially large releases.

This builds on existing work on both sides of the border. In Canada, earlier this year, Minister Guilbeault committed to working with the Canadian oil and gas industry to identify pathways to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to reduce methane emissions by at least seventy-five percent by 2030. Today, Environment and Climate Change Canada published a proposed framework outlining the main elements of the new regulations. The draft regulations will be published early next year.

During their meeting on the sidelines of COP27, Minister Guilbeault and Special Envoy Kerry took note of the pivotal moment in time with respect to climate. Both underscored the need to avoid backsliding on commitments made at COP26 in Glasgow, the importance of countries implementing concrete actions to reach their climate goals, and limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Cutting oil and gas methane emissions is one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to combat climate change. Methane is a potent, but relatively short-lived, greenhouse gas, and is eighty-six times more harmful than carbon dioxide over a twenty-year period. Now that profit margins are robust and energy prices are high, the time is right to invest to reduce emissions in the oil and gas sector. Making investments now will position the North American oil and gas industry among the cleanest in the world and enable it to compete in an increasingly decarbonizing industry.

Quotes

Canada is already on track to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 75 percent by 2030, which is just about the most ambitious target in the world. Today’s announcement shows our continued commitment to tackle methane emissions by collaborating with other countries that share similar priorities. Our work with the US will strengthen regulatory ambition and alignment to support the competitiveness of our oil and gas sector. Cooperation between our two countries on methane emissions in the oil and gas sector is critical to fighting climate change, strengthening our economies, and protecting the health and safety of North Americans.”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“We welcome Canada’s deep commitment and ambition in tackling methane emissions. Cooperation on methane between the United States and Canada is, and will continue to be, a valuable tool in cutting emissions in our respective countries and around the world.”
– John Kerry, United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate

“I welcome the demonstration of ambition today from Canada on reducing methane emissions from its oil and gas sector. Canada’s new regulatory framework should provide a practical and strong step forward towards achieving its target of reducing oil and gas methane emissions by at least 75 percent by 2030. The IEA has identified the transformative potential of reducing methane emissions. If the world reduces methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030, the goal of the Global Methane Pledge, this would have a similar effect on global warming as immediately switching all the world’s cars, trucks, ships, and planes—the entire global transport sector—over to net-zero emissions technologies.”
Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency

Quick facts

  • Canada and US actions to reduce oil and gas emissions are complemented by the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative. Through this initiative, some of the world’s largest oil and gas companies recently announced a target of near-zero methane emissions from oil and gas production by 2030. This announcement reflects both the importance of reducing these emissions, and the fact that it is possible to achieve reductions in the sector in the short term.
  • In February 2021, Canada and the US launched the Roadmap for a Renewed US-Canada Partnership and the US-Canada High-Level Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Ambition, reaffirming a shared commitment to reduce oil and gas methane emissions to protect public health and the environment as guided by the best science.
  • Lowering methane emissions can have positive impacts on air quality and public health. Methane contributes to the formation of ground-level ozone that causes serious health problems, such as reduced lung function and asthma attacks, and is responsible for half a million premature deaths globally.
  • In November 2021, Canada joined over one hundred countries in supporting the Global Methane Pledge (GMP). This pledge commits members to a collective goal of reducing human-caused methane emissions by thirty percent from 2020 levels by 2030. More recently, Canada joined as an inaugural member, supporting the GMP Energy Pathway.
  • In December 2021, a federal review of Canada’s oil and gas methane regulations to reduce methane emissions by forty to forty-five percent by 2025 (from 2012 levels) concluded that Canada is on track to meet its target.

Associated links

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Twitter page

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Facebook page

SOURCE Environment and Climate Change Canada

For further information: Kaitlin Power, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 819-230-1557, [email protected]; Media Relations: Environment and Climate Change Canada, 819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free), [email protected]





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