IEA discusses methane, higher energy prices
The head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said November 24 a country-by-country assessment of methane emissions is in the works.
IEA executive director Fatih Birol said the mandate of the agency related to methane emissions is expanding.
“In February, we'll launch a comprehensive new version of our Methane Tracker to add detailed country-by-country data on coal to our updated coverage of oil and gas,” he said through his official account on Twitter.
The international community during the COP26 environment summit in Glasgow included focus on controlling methane, a greenhouse gas that has a warming potential far greater than that of carbon dioxide.
In October, before the summit began, members of the European Parliament voted in favour of binding commitments on methane, calling for the European Commission to introduce mandatory monitoring, reporting and verification measures for all methane-emitting sectors, and mandatory leak detection and repair programmes for the energy and petrochemical sectors.
From the sidelines of COP26, US president Joe Biden unveiled a similar measure. Key components of his plan range from monitoring and eliminating vented gas to performance standards for various upstream operations. The Interior Department, which manages oil and gas operations on public lands and in federal waters, said it aimed to disincentivise flaring of associated gas by proposing that operators pay royalties to the federal government for vented or flared gas.
Birol also addressed soaring energy prices, a day after Biden announced plans to release oil from the US strategic reserves to cool the market.
“Recent rises in energy prices result from various factors, including a rapid economic rebound pushing up demand, as well as outages and weather-related impacts,” he said. “Some of the strains in today's markets may also be 'artificial tightness' due to the strategies of some major producers.”
Saudi Arabia, the de facto head of OPEC, has suggested the rise in energy prices is due to a lack of investment in fossil fuels during the energy transition.