European Parliament determined to reduce methane emissions in energy sector

Today, a broad majority of Members of the European Parliament have approved a strong negotiating mandate for the proposal to reduce methane emissions in the energy sector. The proposal includes a ban on the routine flaring and venting of methane, obligations to detect and quickly repair leaks from pipelines and valves, obliges the Commission to set a binding target for reducing methane emissions until 2030, and for the new law to also apply to imports of gas, oil and coal from 2026 onwards.

Jutta Paulus MEP, European Parliament rapporteur for the Industry, Research and Energy Committee, welcomes the strong negotiating position:

“The European Parliament is determined to reduce methane emissions which are an important contributor to climate change. Routine venting and flaring of methane is irresponsible and fuels the global climate crisis. Capturing and using useless leaking gas also helps alleviate the energy crisis. Most methane emissions occur outside the EU, so it is only logical that strict rules must also apply to imports of gas, coal and oil. Reducing methane emissions means more protection for the climate and more energy sovereignty.”


The Methane Regulation is an essential part of the Green Deal and the Fit for 55 package. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change calls for massive reductions in methane emissions in order to be able to limit global heating to 1.5 degrees.  Methane is the main component of fossil gas. More than 20 years after the EU Commission presented its first methane strategy, there are still no rules for methane emissions in the EU. Over a period of 20 years, the greenhouse gas methane has an impact 80 times greater than carbon dioxide and is responsible for about one third of global warming today. The energy industry is responsible for 19% of methane emissions in the EU.