Energy Exchange

5 opportunities for renewed American climate leadership on methane

With Joe Biden winning the 2020 U.S. presidency, attention now shifts to how his administration will prioritize domestic and international climate action in the context of COVID-19 and its related economic repercussions.

Among the most powerful elements of a reinvigorated American climate strategy is assertive action to reduce methane pollution. At least 25% of today’s global warming is caused by methane emissions from human activities, including production and use of fossil fuels, agriculture and municipal waste. One of the world’s largest sources of manmade methane pollution is the oil and gas industry.

Oil and gas methane emissions also present a particularly important climate opportunity, as it offers the most immediate and lowest cost option to reduce a potent greenhouse gas.

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Posted in Canada, Methane, Methane regulatons / Comments are closed

Will Trudeau make good on Canada’s 2025 climate promises?

This piece was originally published in The Hill Times

A lot can change in a short period of time.

Just a few months ago, I lauded Canada’s leadership on climate, in general, and on methane pollution in particular. In 2018, the Trudeau government introduced the world’s first national oil and gas regulations limiting emissions of methane, a powerful climate pollutant intensifying near-term global warming.

Then, in the wake of the global health and economic crisis, Prime Minister Trudeau announced a $1.7 billion Emission Reduction Fund to help put oil and gas workers back to work cleaning up tens of thousands of leaky abandoned wells. The investment combined with a $750 million fund to reduce methane and other pollution from oil and gas infrastructure would create up to 10,000 jobs and help stabilize the climate.

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Posted in Air Quality, Canada, Methane, Methane regulatons / Comments are closed

Harnessing Europe’s climate diplomacy and energy policy to drive down methane worldwide

With the forthcoming EU Methane Strategy and a flurry of other energy proposals expected in the coming months, Europe has an incredible opportunity to lead — not just domestically but internationally — when it comes to reducing oil and gas methane emissions.

This is the single most effective thing we can do to limit temperature rise in the near term as we transition to a climate neutral future over the coming decades.

Europe’s leadership on methane emissions would be based on its market position as the largest importer of internationally traded gas in the world, as well as its strong technical expertise and ambition for climate action.

Unlike some other issues where policy objectives can run up against the realities of international politics, Europe’s market position provides the EU with leverage to shape behavior and actions beyond its borders.

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Posted in Europe, Methane, Methane regulatons, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

Climate leadership is Canada’s truest, best path to world stage

This piece was originally published in The Hill Times

Pundits are wringing their hands over Canada’s frustrated bid for a temporary spot on the United Nations Security Council. But perhaps Canada was auditioning for the wrong role. What if the undeniable but short-term prestige has kept critics from recognizing a greater, more important place for Canada on the global stage — at precisely the moment it’s most needed?

Climate change looms as an ever-larger threat not only to the world’s economies, but to civilization as a whole. As a major fossil fuel producer and innovative leader in environmental stewardship, Canada is uniquely poised to help usher in a new era of low-carbon energy, both through actions at home and by bringing other countries along through U.N. and other international auspices.

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Posted in Air Quality, Canada, Methane, Methane regulatons / Comments are closed

Canada’s Trudeau exemplifies climate leadership in the face of COVID-19 crisis

As countries everywhere struggle to balance crucial long term priorities like climate change with the urgent health and economic issues faced by millions suffering the effects of a viral pandemic, the government of Canada has distinguished itself with a new policy designed to address both sets of challenges without shortchanging either.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Canada’s Energy Stimulus Plan offers a standout example of how world leaders can carefully meet society’s immediate needs while simultaneously reducing the greenhouse gas pollution that is destabilizing our climate. Trudeau’s response demonstrates that it is possible to protect and preserve jobs — even in the oil and gas sector — while still cutting emissions.

The plan, announced in April, includes over CA$2 billion to help offset the crisis in the energy sector, while keeping a sharp focus on the economy and the environment. It includes CA$1.7 billion to clean up old, so-called orphan wells across Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, which the government estimates will preserve more than 5,000 jobs in Alberta alone.

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Posted in Canada, Climate, Methane, Methane regulatons, Natural Gas / Comments are closed