EU Parliament votes to tackle methane, including ‘invisible’ emissions from its energy imports

The European Parliament has today (9 May) voted on a critical piece of climate legislation in the form of the EU Methane Regulation.

EIA welcomes the amendments adopted by MEPs, particularly the ambitious measures aimed at reducing methane emissions from imported fossil fuels.

Methane is the second most powerful greenhouse gas, 80 times more powerful than CO2 over a 20-year period. Deep cuts in methane from the energy sector are needed for the EU to reach its target of reducing greenhouse gases emissions by 55 per cent by 2030.

Methane flaring

EIA Climate Campaigner Kim O’Dowd said: ‘’The measures adopted today are urgently needed, given the short amount of time we have to avoid irreversible climate tipping points. The good news is that the measures are well-known and cost-effective – a win for the climate, the people and the economy.”

The EU imports 90 per cent of the gas, 97 per cent of the oil and 70 per cent of the coal it consumes, with most methane emissions occurring long before the fossil fuels reach EU borders. Inclusion measures on imports has been a key demand from EIA and other environmental NGOs.

O’Dowd said: ‘’MEPs have taken an important step to fix the glaring omission in the Commission proposal, which basically ignored methane emissions associated with imported fossil fuels and threw its hands in the air. The Parliament position supports an ambitious Regulation that is fit to tackle this urgent problem and the EU’s responsibility for it.’’

In the coming weeks, the Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament will meet to negotiate on the final version of the text.

‘’We urge MEPs to stand strong on their position during negotiations to counterbalance the Council’s view, which is devoid of substance. EIA will continue to engage with policymakers to be the voice of people and the planet,” added O’Dowd.