Methane gap: EU criticised for lack of action over greenhouse gas

17 July 2020

The European Union does not plan to crack down on planet-warming methane emissions from gas imports despite pressure from oil companies, activists and academics, according to its draft strategy and sources familiar with the matter who spoke with the Reuters news agency.

While the EU plans to impose carbon dioxide (CO2) taxes on imports of energy-intensive goods, critics say the world's biggest gas importer is not targeting suppliers of the fuel hard enough in its methane strategy due to be unveiled this year.

This comes despite an unlikely alliance of big oil firms, environmental activists, investors and researchers pushing the bloc to plug this hole in its methane plan and punish gas producers that fail to rein in their emissions.

While the EU regulates methane emissions from gas burned in the bloc, it does not regulate emissions during the production or transport of gas imported by Europe. That means those emissions do not show up in the tally of greenhouse gases linked to Europe's gas-fuelled power plants, nor are they are counted in the EU's climate goals.

Read the full article on the Al Jazeera website, featuring commentary by Prof Frank Jotzo.