The International Energy Agency (IEA) published on Wednesday its 2022 Global Methane Tracker report, indicating that methane emissions from the global energy sector are 70% higher than official figures, with the coal sector identified as the largest single source.
According to the IEA’s statistics, the energy industry accounts for roughly 40% of human-caused methane emissions. The Paris-based watchdog suggested in the report that governments needed to scale up its monitoring efforts and policy measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
As stated by IEA, methane is responsible for roughly 30% of the increase in global temperatures since the Industrial Revolution, and rapid and persistent reductions in methane emissions are critical for mitigating global warming and improving air quality.
Methane is the second most potent greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide, with a stronger heat-trapping potential than carbon dioxide. Reducing methane emissions can thus have a quick impact on reducing global warming.
Significant emissions were confirmed last year in Texas and certain Central Asian nations, with Turkmenistan alone accounting for one-third of the major emissions events detected by satellites in 2021. Relatively few major leaks were detected for the major onshore oil and gas producers in the Middle East.
In November, more than 110 countries have jointly launched the Global Methane Pledge at the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, UK. Led by the European Union and the United State, participants agreed to cut methane emissions from human activities, such as agriculture, the energy sector, and other sources, by 30% by 2030.
Out of the five countries with the highest methane emissions from their energy sectors — China, Russia, the United States, Iran, and India — only the United States is currently a signatory to the promise.