Canada proposes new methane emissions rules for oil-and-gas sector

Getting tough on methane

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault says the controlled release or burning of methane from oil and gas production sites will be almost entirely barred by 2030. 

Guilbeault is in Dubai for the annual global climate talks, which this year are known as COP28. 

He is publishing draft regulations today that aim to cut at least 75 per cent of methane emissions from the oil-and-gas sector by 2030, compared to what was emitted in 2012.

A federal review found in 2021 that Canada was on track to hit its current regulatory target of cutting methane output from oil and gas by 40 to 45 per cent by 2025, but more recent reports suggest methane leaks and releases are not well-documented.

Methane doesn't stay in the atmosphere as long as carbon dioxide, but it is better at trapping heat, so cutting methane emissions is considered one of the most effective ways of reducing global warming.

Methane contributed just under 14 per cent of Canada's total emissions in 2021, and the oil-and-gas industry accounted for 40 per cent of that.

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