The Biden administration seeks to mobilize the world to curb methane emissions, using national policies and global commitments to combat climate-warming gas.
World leaders announced Tuesday that 100 countries are backing an effort led by the United States and the European Union to reduce global methane emissions by 30 percent.
Meanwhile, the United States also announced new regulations for its domestic oil and gas production.
“One of the most important things we can do in this decisive decade … to maintain 1.5 degrees of range is to reduce our methane emissions as soon as possible, ”President Biden said during remarks at the UN climate summit in Glasgow, referring to the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
This commitment would aim to reduce global methane 30 percent by 2030, but individual countries are not necessarily responsible for reducing their own emissions by that amount.
Instead, special envoy for the weather John kerryJohn KerryBiden must show how he reaches his greenhouse gas target 3 things to watch at the climate summit The real reason Biden is going to the COP26 climate summit MORE said last month that “all countries will do what they can to reduce methane emissions “.
While there is no compliance mechanism to make countries honor the pledge, some advocates remain optimistic that it will help reduce methane emissions.
“I think there is a good chance that they will comply and I think it’s because the climate crisis has become more urgent and more central in recent years,” said Dan Grossman, associate vice president for global energy transition at the Environmental Defense Fund.
He added that the onus lies with developed countries in particular, saying “there is an expectation and an obligation that they do everything possible to compensate for economies that may not have as much flexibility.”
Biden, speaking Tuesday morning, called the promise “a game changer.”
“This will make a big difference. And not just when it comes to combating climate change, ”he said, also referring to the health benefits and economic benefits of ensuring gas doesn’t leak.
The initiative comes as the United States tries to more broadly reaffirm its leadership on climate change after President TrumpDonald TrumpMcAuliffe, Youngkin hold final campaign rallies ahead of tight Virginia gubernatorial race Poll: 50 percent of Republicans don’t think their vote is accurately counted overnight Defense and National Security: The Sub-Deal Showdown intensifies MOREHis inaction on the issue and his withdrawal from the global Paris Agreement.
The Biden administration has signaled that it intends to take action on a number of regulations, as Democrats in Congress face headwinds in their efforts to pass climate legislation, fueling uncertainty about whether they can advance meaningful proposals.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week proposed a new rule targeting new and existing sources of methane pollution of the oil and gas sector. EPA said it will cut methane emissions from regulated entities by 74 percent compared to 2005 levels.
For the first time, the administration is addressing existing sources of methane pollution from the oil and gas industry by requiring states to develop guidelines that restrict the release or burning of excess gas, processes known as vent and burn.
Vent release and burn methane since this substance is the main component of natural gas.
Darin Schroeder, associate attorney for Clean Air Task Force, said it was a big deal that the agency was cutting methane of existing operations, which make up the bulk of the oil and gas industry, but he said the agency could have gone even further.
“Proposing some existing source guidelines is a big step forward because that’s where most of the emissions are: from the facilities that exist today,” said Schroeder.
The agency is also adding more regulations on new facilities, such as requiring certain technologies used by the industry to emit no emissions.
The Trump administration revoked previous regulations on new facilities, but reinstated them earlier this year through a disapproval resolution passed by Congress and signed by Biden.
The latest EPA action hasn’t sparked much pushback from industry advocates. BP issued a statement saying it “applauds” the move, while some trade groups gave more lukewarm responses, saying they support methane regulations and would study the action.
The ad is part of a methane agency plan, which also aims to address methane through other agencies and other parts of the economy.
He said, for example, that the Bureau of Land Management will eventually seek to impose royalties on vented and flared gas to curb the practices.
But, when you use a regulatory approach to oil and gas, you use a voluntary approach to agriculture, disappointing some advocates.
“They must start by establishing a path to regulation,” said Ben Lilliston, director of climate change and rural strategies at the Institute for Agricultural and Trade Policy.
“I think it would have an immediate impact and people would think differently about raising animals and the best system to do it,” Lilliston said of regulations on the agricultural industry.
The agricultural industry is the largest in the United States. methane source when livestock and manure emissions are accounted for together.
But the regulations come as the White House struggles to bring its climate agenda to the finish line in Congress, suggesting it may need to focus more on regulatory action.
While the agency was widely expected to regulate methane emissions from existing sources, the rule is presented as a Congressional proposal to reduce methane emissions are at risk.
One area Democrats are arguing about is whether, and how, to limit methane oil and gas emissions, having launched a tariff on emissions that met resistance from the key casting vote Sen. Joe manchinJoe Manchin On The Money – Presented by Citi – Progressives ignore Manchin warning Cori Bush criticizes Manchin for opposition to spending bill: ‘Anti-Black, anti-child, anti-woman and anti-Immigrant’ Overnight Energy & Environment – Presented by The American Petroleum Institute – Glasgow Summit begins MORE (DW.Va.).
In a recent House proposal, Democrats launched both release fees and incentives to cut them by $ 775 million for grants, refunds, contracts and loans.
However, Grossman, with the Environmental Defense Fund, said he believes regulation is the best way to address methane oil and gas.
“I think the rules are the main strategy and rightly so,” he said.