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    EU adopts law on cutting energy sector methane emissions


Next comes negotiations with the EU Council.

by: NGW

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EU adopts law on cutting energy sector methane emissions

Members of the EU's parliament have backed introducing a law to reduce methane emissions from the energy sector, with the legislation now set to be negotiated with the EU Council.

The European Commission adopted a strategy on tackling methane emissions in October 2020, but creating laws to support its implementation has taken significant time, amid wrangling between member states, the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine and ensuing energy crisis.

The parliament supported the draft law 499 votes in favour, with 73 against and 55 abstentions. MEPs called on the European Commission to propose a binding 2030 target for cutting EU methane emissions for the oil, natural gas, coal and biomethane sectors, and for national goals to be set.

As it currently stands, the law would require operators to submit a methane leak detection and repair programme to national authorities six months from the date of the legislation's entry into force, with MEPs proposing more frequent surveys than what the commission is proposing. They also want tougher requirements to fix leaks, with operators having to repair or replace leaking components no later than five days after detection.

MEPs also backed a ban on venting and flaring methane from drainage stations by 2025 and from ventilation shafts by 2027, and a requirement for EU countries to have mitigation plans in place for abandoned coal mines and inactive oil and natural gas wells.

Furthermore, importers of coal, oil and gas will have to demonstrate that the supplies they receive were also produced in line with the regulation.