Government of Canada launches next steps towards deeper methane reductions from oil and gas

News release

March 25, 2022 – Gatineau, Quebec

Rapidly reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector is one of the fastest, most cost-effective things we can do to fight climate change, protect our environment, and keep our air clean. It is also an essential part of Canada’s plan to reduce emissions by 40 to 45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Canada has been an international leader in reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector and was the first country in the world to commit to at least a 75 percent methane reduction from the sector by 2030, a goal recommended in the International Energy Agency’s Net Zero by 2050 roadmap.

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, today launched the Government of Canada’s consultations to seek input from the provinces and territories, Indigenous Peoples, industry, and interested stakeholders to inform the design of tougher regulations to achieve at least a 75 percent reduction in methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 2030.

Building on Canada’s progress in lowering methane emissions to date, Environment and Climate Change Canada is seeking input on a number of key topics to cut emissions further, including:

  • emission reduction technologies, which continue to evolve and provide opportunities for greater GHG reductions;
  • design approaches for future regulations;
  • options for methane measurement, monitoring, and reporting, and;
  • how this commitment would relate to other policies such as carbon pricing and capping and cutting emissions from the oil and gas sector.

Anyone interested in submitting comments on the Discussion Paper – Reducing Methane Emissions from Canada’s Oil and Gas Sector may do so by May 25, 2022. Input the Government of Canada receives will help inform the draft regulations to be published in early 2023.

Quotes

“Reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector is one of the fastest, least expensive steps we can take to achieve our climate goals here in Canada and internationally under the Global Methane Pledge. More ambitious action on methane emissions can help spur clean technology innovations, improve air quality to reduce smog, and provide Canada’s oil and gas sector with an opportunity to showcase its leadership in responsible energy production.”

– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“Reducing methane—a greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon dioxide—is critical to achieving our emissions reductions goals. Our government is committed to reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by developing and deploying clean technologies and best practices at home and abroad.”

– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources

Quick facts

  • Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and climate pollutant with a global warming potential more than 86 times greater than carbon dioxide.

  • The oil and gas sector is Canada’s largest industrial emitter of methane. It currently accounts for about 21 percent of the oil and gas sector’s emissions and 13 percent of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) has made it clear that lowering methane emissions from oil and gas operations is one of the best near-term opportunities for limiting the worst impacts of climate change. The IEA has called on countries and companies to reduce methane emissions from the sector by more than 70 percent from 2020 levels in 2030.

  • Momentum around the world to reduce methane emissions is growing. The United States recently published more stringent proposed rules, and the oil and gas industry is doing its part too. The global members of the Aiming for Zero Methane Emissions Initiative have all committed to strive towards near zero methane emissions from their oil and gas assets by 2030.

  • Canada is uniquely well positioned to move forward with this action. In December 2021, Environment and Climate Change Canada provided an update that Canada is on track to meet its 2025 methane reduction target of 40 to 45 percent below 2012 levels.

  • The Government of Canada’s $750 million Emissions Reduction Fund is supporting capital investments, clean technology deployment and research to reduce methane and other greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas sector.

  • Reducing methane emissions will decrease ozone formation and can prevent over 200,000 premature deaths each year, hundreds of thousands of asthma-related emergency room visits, and over 20 million tonnes of crop losses a year by 2030.

  • Previous methane regulations published by Canada in 2018 were estimated to reduce methane emissions at an average cost of $17 per tonne of GHGs without accounting for the benefits of spurring clean technology development and innovation, which can be exported to other countries.

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Contacts

Kaitlin Power
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
819-230-1557
Kaitlin.Power@ec.gc.ca

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)
media@ec.gc.ca

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Twitter page

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Facebook page

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