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European Parliament: Methane report

On 28 September, the European Parliament's committee for the protection of the environment, public health and food safety (ENVI) voted on the final shape of the Parliament's report on the EU strategy to reduce methane emissions (2021/2006 (INI), which is to be the EP position on the EU Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions by the European Commission in 2020 (COM (2020) 663 final).

The ENVI parliamentary committee was the lead committee preparing the report, and opinions were also prepared by the AGRI (Agriculture and Rural Development) and ITRE (Industry, Research and Energy) committees. The motion for a resolution was drafted by the rapporteur, Maria Spyraki of the European People's Party, and submitted for discussion and an exchange of views to other Members.

The final shape of the report, after the compromise amendments had been agreed, was adopted by a majority of 61 votes, 10 MEPs voted against.

In the adopted report, MEPs expressed the opinion that the Commission should propose legislation setting binding standards and targets for methane reduction that would cover all sectors in order to significantly reduce methane emissions in the EU by 2030. It was also emphasized that it would be desirable to set binding global targets and adopt them during the COP26 in Glasgow.

The ENVI Commission pays the greatest attention to the monitoring, reporting and verification of methane emissions (MRV) in all sectors (including closed and abandoned coal mines). MEPs called on the EC to establish a mandatory leak detection program (LDAR) that would cover the entire value chain in the energy and petrochemical sectors. A dedicated observatory to detect leakages should, according to MEPs, also track leakages at "super-emitters" in all sectors.

The expected EC legislative proposal should be consistent with other legal acts, such as the Effort Sharing Directive (binding methane emission reduction targets for member states) or the Industrial Emissions Directive, and reflect the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

Approval and support were expressed for the independent initiatives of the industry regarding the reduction of methane emissions, while it was noted that individual projects have limited effectiveness and legislative support is necessary, which is to be preceded by prior consultation with stakeholders, an assessment of the impact, costs and environmental and social consequences. in line with the principle of "do no significant harm".

MEPs of the ENVI committee clearly stated that all actions required by the future legislation must not only contribute to the reduction of methane emissions quickly and cost-effectively, but also, very importantly, provide incentives and support for enterprises in achieving standards (e.g. for those conducting methane capture and use projects). CMM in both operational and abandoned mines), while taking into account the polluter pays principle.

The non-legislative report will be presented to the plenary session of the European Parliament, probably on November 18, and put to the vote. The MEPs' approach contained in the document may be a preview of the EP's attitude to the legislative proposal that the Commission will present regarding the limitation of methane emissions in the energy sector, which is to be published later this year.