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The European Parliament calls for an ambitious legislative proposal to tackle methane emissions

LONDON: The European Parliament has voted today an ambitious own-initiative report on the EU Methane Strategy, supporting the expectations from leading environmental groups.

The methane strategy report just got adopted by the European Parliament by 563 votes. This result is a significant step forward. The London-based Environmental Investigation Agency welcomes this result, as many of their recommendations can be found in the report.

For the NGO, the application of the measures presented in the report would have significant extraterritorial benefits in reducing methane emissions, as the EU imports over 80 per cent of its oil and gas from non-EU countries. Tim Grabiel, EIA Senior Lawyer, welcomed the result: “Today’s vote comes at a key moment when the European Commission is considering the content of its upcoming legislative proposal.

The European Parliament today clearly indicated that the EU not only has the responsibility to monitor and mitigate methane emissions within its borders but also to act on the methane emissions it causes from its excessive consumption of oil and gas produced abroad.”

The work on methane emissions is a highly anticipated event given that methane has long been ignored by policymakers despite contributing to 25% of the warming experienced today, and 86 more potent that Carbon dioxide. EIA has been warning that this legislative proposal cannot be allowed to fail nor to be half-hearted. It is a major opportunity for the EU to tackle methane emissions as part of 2030 climate targets and the goal of climate neutrality by 2050.

Today’s vote and the upcoming EU legislation comes at a crucial time. The United States and the EU have launched last week the Global Methane Pledge, signed by more than 30 other countries. Countries joining the pledge commit to a collective goal of reducing global methane emissions by at least 30 percent from 2020 levels by 2030. But this diplomatic effort should not replace concrete EU regulatory framework as it is neither specific nor significant enough to ensure reductions emissions across the supply chain. “The Global Methane Pledge is a start but the climate emergency requires concrete actions. We call on the EU not to hide behind the pledge to lower ambition in its upcoming legislation but to ensure those measures cover all oil and gas consumed in the EU, imports included.” as highlighted by Tim Grabiel.

The Commission is expected to release its legislative proposal in December. At issue is whether the legislative proposal will match the ambition of the own-initiative report. EIA, joined by many other environmental groups, sent a letter calling on the European Commission to be bold. “We have called on Frans Timmermans to act decisively to reduce methane emissions in the energy sector by extending EU rules across the supply chain. This will be decisive, defining EU climate ambitions for this decade and its responsibility as a major importer of fossil energy.” says Tim Grabiel.

Reducing methane emissions is indispensable for the EU to stay in line with its climate goals. MEPs seem to have acknowledged it, but the Commission still has to prove its commitment.





  1. The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) investigates and campaigns against environmental crime and abuses. Our undercover investigations expose transnational wildlife crime, with a focus on elephants, pangolins and tigers, and forest crimes such as illegal logging and deforestation for cash crops such as palm oil; we work to safeguard global marine ecosystems by tackling plastic pollution, exposing illegal fishing and seeking an end to all whaling; and we address the threat of global warming by campaigning to curtail powerful refrigerant greenhouse gases and exposing related criminal trade.

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