Tackling Canada's methane emissions
Canada's Environment Minister Catherine McKenna released the federal government's plan to reduce methane emissions by up to 45% by 2025 (from 2012 levels). The government hopes the new regulations will remove 20 million tonnes/year of methane from the atmosphere.
The regulations take effect in 2020, three years later than originally planned. The minister says implementation was delayed based on feedback from the energy sector, who need time to modify their existing facilities to capture released gases and reduce fugitive emissions.
The government is also targeting sources of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from oil refineries, oil sands upgraders and petrochemical plants.
The minister congratulated the US, specifically California, Ohio and Colorado, for their leadership in regulating methane and VOCs. Although Alberta was not mentioned in McKenna's speech, the province already has a plan in place to reduce methane emissions by 45% by 2025.
About half of Alberta's methane emissions come from venting natural gas while the remainder is mostly from fugitive emissions. Methane accounts for 7% of Canada's GHG emissions, but the gas has a warming potential 25 times that of carbon dioxide.
Complete details on the emissions reduction plan will be released on May 27. The plan will be open for public feedback for a period of 60 days. McKenna says the new regulations will make Canada's economy "more competitive" while providing opportunities to capture and sell natural gas, instead of venting the gas to atmosphere.
The government also announced a $7 million pilot project to capture methane emissions in Chile. The funding is part of the Federal Liberal's commitment to spend $2.65 billion through 2020 to help reduce GHG emissions globally.
GOV'T OF CANADA CANADA TO REDUCE EMISSIONS FROM OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY
GOV'T OF CANADA PROPOSED REGULATIONS TO REDUCE THE RELEASE OF VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS (PETROLEUM SECTOR)