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QatarEnergy pledges to eliminate methane emissions by 2030

Methane is more than 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide at locking heat in the atmosphere.

[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

QatarEnergy, the world’s biggest producer of liquefied natural gas, has signed up to the Aiming for Zero Methane Emissions Initiative, set up by the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, an industry group focused on reducing the energy sector’s carbon footprint.

The group of oil and gas companies, including Aramco, BP, Chevron Corp., and Shell, aim to cut almost all methane emissions from their operations by 2030.

While climate pledges have typically focused on limiting carbon dioxide emissions, attention is shifting to methane as it locks in far more heat in the short term and has been leaking just as relentlessly. According to reports, methane is more than 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide at locking heat in the atmosphere.

“We are reaffirming Qatar’s priorities and commitments regarding the climate change agenda,” Qatar Energy’s chief executive officer Saad al-Kaabi, also the country’s energy minister, said in a statement.

Historically, most methane released by direct human action has come from the farming industry. However, over the past 50 years, leaky fossil-fuel infrastructure, much of it tied to the rise of natural gas, has become a significant contributor.

According to the United Nations, a large chunk of those emissions can be stopped, which found that as much as 80% of measures to curb leaks from oil and gas operations can be implemented at no cost.

QatarEnergy had recently increased its efforts in addressing climate change by updating its Sustainability Strategy in March. It has also been working on increasing its solar capacity, while reducing methane emissions.

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