We’ve reached the weekend.
Is it just us, or has this first week of COP felt like a year? The first week of COP saw a lot of moves that (hopefully) set up tangible progress to be delivered next week. But it was also pretty gassy, with lots of fossil fuel lobbyists prowling the conference venue and (one presumes) doing their best to slow the energy transition. But we also saw some countries beginning to roll out genuine actions that will begin to bend the curve, with many more anticipated by parties and in the final decision text.
Big day for the gas and methane at COP27. President Biden arrived (and departed) Sharm, and brought with him many of the major announcements the U.S. will make at this conference. The administration has gone all-in on methane, with many of its flagship COP27 initiatives focused on methane emissions mitigation. Read more below.
We’re also starting to see national plans trickle in. Canada announced its framework, which CATF’s Global Director of Methane Pollution Prevention Jonathan Banks called “the most comprehensive and most effective set of methane standards anywhere in the world, raising the bar for leadership to cut methane.” Setting the pace for the rest of the world, Canada would require monthly leak detection and repair, zero-emission pneumatic devices, mandated annual inspection of non-producing wells, and more.
Psst… the U.S.’s dirty methane secret. We know methane pollution by the U.S. oil and gas industry is at least twice as bad as the easily manipulated official EPA count, and it’s growing. To help keep track of the dozens of academic studies that have emerged on this issue, Climate Nexus has launched the U.S. Oil and Gas Methane Emissions Science Tracker, an interactive database that tracks and summarizes the relevance of scientific studies documenting methane emissions from the U.S. oil and gas sector. Check out the tracker.
Planned gas expansions overwhelm 1.5°C goal. According to Climate Action Tracker:
The LNG capacity now under construction, coupled with expansion plans, could increase emissions by over 1.9 GtCO2e per year in 2030 above emission levels consistent with the IEA’s Net Zero by 2050 scenario. This pipeline of new plants massively exacerbates the fact that existing capacity (as of 2021) will exceed IEA NZE needs by 2030.
Between 2020 and 2050, cumulative emissions from LNG could be over 40 GtCO2 higher, equal to around 10% of the remaining carbon budget. In 2030, oversupply could reach 500Mt LNG, almost five times the EU’s imports of fossil gas from Russia in 2021, and over double Russian total exports. This reaction to the energy crisis is an over reach that must be scaled back.
Even worse, CAT says: “The Glasgow NDC update process has failed to deliver the urgent emissions cuts governments promised to deliver to keep warming to 1.5°C. The world is heading for 2.4°C of warming under current 2030 targets. If that number looks familiar, it’s because it is the same as last year.” Read more.
IYKYK: A global methane agreement can prevent climate catastrophe. IGSD’s Durwood Zaelke and Dr. Gabrielle (“Science Gabby”) Dreyfus and PPI’s Paul Bledsoe write for The Hill:
Cutting the super climate pollutants is the only known way to take our foot off the accelerator to give us a fighting chance to slow the self-reinforcing feedbacks, avoid tipping points and keep the planet from the existential risk of “Hothouse Earth.”
We miss her too. Several of you have mentioned that you miss Bessie, our unofficial mascot from COP26 in Glasgow. We were worried Bessie (who as you recall, is a Highland cow) would fare poorly under the Egyptian sun. Well – Bessie’s BACK, babes! We got her a visa for the weekend and she’ll be hanging with the Methane Moment team by the pool before we head into week two.