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US and EU aim for new methane emissions commitment from Reuters

© Reuters. Gas flaring at the “Ku Maloob Zaap” platform of the Mexican oil field in the Bay of Campeche, April 19, 2013. REUTERS/Victor Ruiz Garcia/File Photo

SHARM EL-SHEIKH (Reuters) – The United States and the European Union plan to present a joint agreement at the United Nations climate summit this week to step up efforts to reduce emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from the fossil fuel sector. We hope other countries will join.

The draft commitment, seen by Reuters, states that the United States and the European Union will agree on measures for the energy sector both domestically and internationally, such as halting routine venting and flaring of natural gas and requiring companies to fix leaks in their infrastructure.

Both the United States and the European Union, the largest producers of greenhouse gases after China, have proposed regulations to reduce methane losses from oil and gas companies across the country, but these regulations have not yet been implemented.

The statement will build on an agreement promoted by the United States and the European Union last year to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030 compared to 2020 levels.

The Global Methane Pledge has been signed by 119 countries, including 13 of the world’s 20 major methane emitters, such as Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and Nigeria.

A US official said the US and EU implied that some “important players” would support the new statement, without providing further details.

According to the draft, the signatories could also enhance monitoring and reporting of methane emissions, forcing companies to address the scale of their problem.

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(Translated by Luca Fratangelo and Editing by Gianluca Cimraro)

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