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    IEF launches methane measurement initiative


The initiative will bring together satellite and corporate data, enabling countries to better quantify their methane emissions and set targets for reducing them.

by: Joseph Murphy

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IEF launches methane measurement initiative

The International Energy Forum (IEF) has launched an initiative to help improve measurement of methane emissions from the energy industry, it said on June 10.

The IEF, comprising energy ministries of 71 countries, is undertaking the Methane Measurement Methodology initiative with observation and data analytics group Kayrros. The aim is to "close the gap between observed methane emissions and those reported at the company level – a critical step to reducing global methane emissions."

Methane is emitted into the atmosphere in far smaller volumes than CO2 but has a far greater potency as a greenhouse gas. As a result, it is the second biggest contributor to global warmings after CO2. But quantifying methane emissions is difficult. So-called top-down measurements, using satellite and airplane data, rarely align with bottom-up measurements, where methane is quantified using onsite cameras and other techniques.

"The new methodology would allow IEF member countries and their energy industries to consider the best available data on methane emissions, define their historical methane baseline and set mitigation goals in a transparent and consistent manner," the IEF said.

IEF members could then present plans to reduce their emissions in their Nationally Determined Contributions ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow this November.

The methodology, which is expected to be created in the next four months, will rely on satellite data from the Copernicus constellation of satellites operated by the European Space Agency, using artificial intelligence and advanced algorithms to detect and measure emissions, while also incorporating data from companies.

"Methane emissions are a leading driver of climate change, second only to carbon dioxide,” said IEF secretary general Joseph McMonigle. "Therefore, it is critical for countries to focus on methane reductions for the world to address climate change, and this IEF methane initiative will help member countries make progress in meeting our climate goals.”

"With Kayrros's advanced technology, systematic detection, measurement and attribution of large methane emissions is now a reality,” said Antoine Rostand, founder and president of Kayrros. "Eliminating methane hotspots is key to ensuring that the world reaches the Paris goal of keeping global warming below 2 °C by 2050. Our real-time detection technology will play a role in making that possible.”

In 2020, Kayrros developed a tool to detect individual methane emissions from space. Now, the platform is being used to track regular methane emissions along gas pipelines, for example in Siberia, with emission rates of up to 300 mt/hour recorded.