EU Parliament Gets Tough on Methane Emissions in the Energy Sector

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The European Parliament has given the green light for a new EU law to reduce methane emissions from the energy sector.

A majority of MEPs in Brussels voted in favour of the regulations on Wednesday, which will mean stricter rules for the oil, gas and coal industries.

In November, parliamentary negotiators reached an agreement with their counterparts from the EU member states on the corresponding law.

According to this, operators of oil and gas plants will be required to regularly search for and repair major methane leaks in future. In coal mining, methane emissions are to be measured and reported. In addition, venting or flaring, which releases methane into the atmosphere, is to be banned under certain circumstances.

Reporting and monitoring obligations are also to apply to imports of oil, gas and coal from 2027.

According to Germany's Environment Agency, methane is the second most important greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide (CO2) and is responsible for global warming and air pollution.

Although it remains in the atmosphere for a shorter period of time, it is more potent than CO2. It is produced in agriculture, landfill sites and the oil and gas industry, for example.

The new regulation is reportedly the first EU legislation to reduce methane emissions. Before it can come into force, it must now be formally adopted by the EU member states.

The European Parliament also approved previously negotiated plans for stricter CO2 targets for lorries and buses, it announced on Wednesday.

Specifically, this concerns the so-called fleet limits, which regulate how much climate-damaging CO2 vehicles may emit in future. The project had been on the back burner for some time, as the German government only agreed to the new rules at the last minute.

According to the agreement, CO2 emissions from coaches and lorries are to be reduced by 90% by 2040 compared to 2019.

Formal approval by the EU member states is still pending.

The removal of CO2 from the atmosphere is to be better quantified and monitored in the EU in future after MEPs gave the green light in Brussels on Wednesday for a so-called certification framework for carbon removal.

This is intended to promote high-quality carbon removal and prevent so-called greenwashing. The regulation also covers various types of CO2 removal, including the permanent storage of the gas using industrial technologies.

Negotiators from the European Parliament and the EU member states agreed on corresponding plans in January.

The new rules contribute to the EU's goal of being climate-neutral by 2050, the parliament said. They must now also be formally adopted by the EU member states before they can come into force.

The European Parliament has also decided on Wednesday to make it compulsory for pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies to pay a large share of the costs of wastewater treatment.

MEPs voted by a majority in favour of a compromise previously agreed to by parliamentary negotiators and their counterparts from the EU member states, according to which manufacturers will have to bear at least 80% of the costs in future.

This will be supplemented by national funds so that there are no bottlenecks – especially for medicines – and they remain affordable. According to the European Parliament, medicines and cosmetic products introduce micropollutants into wastewater, which sewage treatment plants are not always able to filter out.

Under the new rules, wastewater will also be strictly monitored in future for antibiotic-resistant pathogens, viruses and microplastics.

EU countries will also be obliged to promote the reuse of treated wastewater from all municipal wastewater treatment plants where appropriate – especially in areas of water scarcity.

The new rules must now be formally adopted by EU countries before they can come into force.

Source: www.dailyfinland.fi

13 Comments
  1. EmilyJones87 says

    As an environmental advocate, I strongly support the EU Parliament’s move to reduce methane emissions in the energy sector. It is crucial that stricter regulations are imposed on the oil, gas, and coal industries to combat climate change effectively. Methane, being a potent greenhouse gas, must be addressed urgently to mitigate its harmful effects on our planet.

  2. EmmaSmith_87 says

    It’s great to see the EU Parliament taking action on methane emissions from the energy sector. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that we need to control to combat climate change. I appreciate the efforts to enforce stricter rules on oil, gas, and coal industries. Let’s hope these regulations make a real difference in reducing emissions.

  3. EmilySmith says

    How will the new regulations specifically impact smaller energy companies in the EU?

    1. OliviaJohnson says

      Hi EmilySmith, the new regulations are set to have a significant impact on smaller energy companies in the EU. They will now be required to comply with stricter rules for detecting and fixing methane leaks, reporting emissions, and potentially investing in new technology to reduce their methane footprint. It could pose challenges for smaller players in terms of increased compliance costs and operational changes. Nevertheless, it also presents an opportunity for innovation and sustainability within the sector.

  4. Emily123 says

    It’s great to see the EU Parliament taking action on methane emissions from the energy sector. This new law will help in combating climate change and protecting the environment. I hope other regions follow suit in implementing such regulations.

  5. EmilySmith says

    It’s great to see the EU Parliament taking steps to reduce methane emissions from the energy sector. This new law will certainly help in combating global warming and air pollution caused by methane, which is a major greenhouse gas. I hope other regions follow suit soon!

  6. EmilySmith says

    It’s great to see the EU Parliament taking action to reduce methane emissions from the energy sector. Stricter rules for the oil, gas, and coal industries are much needed to combat global warming and air pollution. I hope this new legislation sets a positive example for other regions to follow.

  7. EmmaSmith says

    As an environmental advocate, I strongly support the EU Parliament’s decision to crack down on methane emissions in the energy sector. It’s crucial for the oil, gas, and coal industries to take responsibility for their contribution to global warming and air pollution. The stricter rules and regulations will hopefully drive positive change in reducing methane leaks and overall emissions. Kudos to the MEPs for taking a stand on this important issue!

  8. EmilyJohnson says

    I believe that the new EU law to reduce methane emissions from the energy sector is a crucial step towards combating climate change. Methane, as the second most important greenhouse gas, plays a significant role in global warming and air pollution. The stricter regulations for the oil, gas, and coal industries, including the ban on venting or flaring, are essential in mitigating the environmental impact. It is imperative that operators adhere to the new rules and actively work towards reducing methane leaks and emissions. This legislation marks a significant milestone in the EU’s efforts to address climate change effectively.

  9. EmilySmith92 says

    I believe this new EU law on reducing methane emissions from the energy sector is a vital step in combating global warming and air pollution. It’s reassuring to see stricter rules being implemented for the oil, gas, and coal industries. I hope that the EU member states will formally adopt this regulation soon for a cleaner and healthier future.

  10. Ava123 says

    How will these new regulations on methane emissions impact the energy sector’s overall sustainability goals?

    1. EmmaSmith89 says

      These new regulations on methane emissions will play a crucial role in helping the energy sector achieve its sustainability goals by enforcing stricter rules for oil, gas, and coal industries. By requiring operators to search for and repair methane leaks, measure emissions, and ban venting or flaring, the industry will be compelled to adopt more environmentally friendly practices. This is a significant step towards combating global warming and air pollution, as methane is a potent greenhouse gas. The EU’s efforts in this area are commendable and are essential for a sustainable future.

  11. EmilySmith23 says

    Do the new regulations include penalties for non-compliance in the energy sector?

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