EU too lax on methane venting from coal mines, campaigners say
(EurActiv, 2 Mar 2023) Amendments to the EU’s draft methane regulation would allow coal mines to release additional greenhouse gases equivalent to the combined annual CO2 emissions of Belgium and Czechia, according to Ember, a clean energy think-tank.
The analysis, published on Thursday (2 March), shows the latest revisions to the regulation will only cut methane emissions from coal mines by 47%, well below its stated goal of 58%.
“This means an extra 2.2 million tonnes of methane by 2050, which is equivalent to 180 million tonnes of additional CO2-e – more than Belgium and Czechia’s annual CO2 emissions combined,” Ember said.
The EU’s draft methane regulation, tabled in December 2021, aims to bring Europe in line with a global pledge to slash methane emissions by 30% before the end of the decade.
Methane can leak from fossil fuel infrastructure during extraction and transport and has more than 80 times the global warming potential of CO2 in the first twenty years after it reaches the atmosphere.
The EU regulation focuses on methane leaks from the oil and gas industry, as well as from active and abandoned coal mines.