Canada publishes progress report towards 2025 methane emissions reduction target and launches consultations on 2030 target
December 21, 2021 – Gatineau, Quebec
Significantly reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector is a critical part of Canada’s climate plan to reduce greenhouse gas pollution in the oil and gas sector. These reductions will improve air quality, drive innovation in the industry, and help to transition the sector to net-zero emissions by 2050.
The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, released a report confirming that Canada is on track to meet the goal of reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40–45 percent by 2025. The review, ordered as part of Canada’s strengthened climate plan, provides a current snapshot of the quickly evolving federal methane regime. The current federal methane regulations and equivalency agreements with the provinces are expected to generate approximately 10 million tonnes (Mt) of emission reductions in carbon dioxide equivalent in 2025, representing a 39 percent reduction in methane emissions from 2012 levels. Complementary initiatives such as funding programs at the federal, provincial and private sector level will achieve additional reductions, bringing the total expected reductions by 2025 into the 40–45 percent target range.
The work to date sets a strong foundation for continued progress on reducing methane emissions. It provides a solid basis for launching consultations in early 2022 on new federal regulations that will be developed to reduce oil and gas methane emissions by at least 75 percent by 2030 compared with 2012 levels.
Building on actions taken to achieve its 2025 oil and gas methane target, the Government is implementing a suite of measures that include:
- Strengthening the Emissions Reduction Fund to achieve further emissions reductions before 2025 and beyond to 2030;
- Improving quantification of methane emissions from the oil and gas sector in the 2022 edition of the National Inventory Report;
- Working with international partners, including the United States, to identify best practices, improve measuring and reporting, and drive low-cost reductions in the sector; and
- Developing a plan to reduce methane emissions across the broader Canadian economy in support of the Global Methane Pledge and the goals in Canada’s climate plan.
The Government of Canada is also developing an approach to cap and cut oil and gas sector emissions, implementing the Clean Fuel Standard to accelerate the adoption of cleaner fuels, and putting a price on carbon pollution through to 2030.
Together, these measures support Minister Guilbeault’s mandate letter from the Prime Minister, which included instructions to “further reduce methane emissions across the economy.”
The Government remains committed to achieving its 2025 target for oil and gas methane emissions and will continue to monitor and report on progress in this regard. Achieving this goal is an essential part of the Government’s efforts to meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 45 percent by 2030. That is why Canada was one of the first countries in the world to regulate methane emissions from the oil and gas sector at the national level—and more recently became the first to commit to at least a 75 percent reduction by 2030.
The Government will consult the provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples, industry, and civil society in the design of regulations to achieve at least a 75 percent reduction in methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 2030. In early 2022, Environment and Climate Change Canada will publish a discussion paper and hold targeted consultations on this new measure.
“Tackling methane emissions from the oil and gas sector is one of the lowest-cost emissions reduction opportunities in Canada, and one of the most important things we can do to limit climate warming over the next decade. New methodologies and data will inform our continued progress towards our 2025 target. It is a vital time for international and global action on methane emissions, and I look forward to building on our progress and to working with the provinces, industry, environmental organizations, and others to develop regulations to further reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector that achieve at least a 75 percent reduction by 2030 from 2012 levels.”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“The changes we’re making to the third intake of the Emissions Reduction Fund Onshore Program will ensure our government is investing in high-impact projects aimed at delivering additional emissions reductions sooner than through regulation, while investing in infrastructure that supports Canada’s climate targets. This will help us reduce methane emissions from Canada’s oil and gas sector.”
– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) and short-lived climate pollutant that has 86 times the warming power of carbon dioxide over a 20 year period after being released into the atmosphere.
Methane accounts for 17 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions from human activities, principally from the energy, agriculture, and waste sectors.
The benefits of current Canadian oil and gas methane policies are substantial, with about 17 million tonnes of GHG emissions reductions (in CO2 eq) expected per year by 2025, relative to 2012 levels.
In 2016, Canada set a target of reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40–45 percent below 2012 levels by 2025 and has put in place regulations to help achieve that target, making it one of the first countries in the world to regulate methane emissions from the oil and gas sector at the national level.
The report fulfills a commitment from the Government of Canada to review the effectiveness of the existing federal oil and gas methane regulations, and to report on the efficacy of the suite of federal actions to achieve a 40–45 percent reduction in oil and gas methane emissions by 2025.
This review reflects input from the provinces and Indigenous groups, as well as environmental groups and industry. Environment and Climate Change Canada also completed emissions analysis and modelling based on projected oil and gas production.
In October 2021, the Government of Canada confirmed its support for the Global Methane Pledge, which aims to reduce methane emissions around the world by 30 percent below 2020 levels by 2030 and committed to reducing methane emissions across the broader Canadian economy for 2030, and to developing regulations to reduce oil and gas methane emissions by at least 75 percent below 2012 levels by 2030.
- Review of Canada's Methane Regulations for the Upstream Oil and Gas Sector
- Canada confirms its support for the Global Methane Pledge and announces ambitious domestic actions to slash methane emissions
- Canada’s strengthened climate plan: A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy
- Canada to launch consultations on new climate commitments this month, establish Emissions Reduction Plan by the end of March 2022
- Canada’s Achievements at COP26
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