There is no EU legislation, which addresses specifically methane emissions of the energy system via either MRV, LDAR or limits on venting or flaring of methane.

         
          
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Nevertheless, a number of EU instruments contribute to providing information on methane emissions from the energy system and to limiting methane emissions from some related activities.

 

This includes:

 

  • Regulation (EC) No 166/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 January 2006 concerning the establishment of a European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR Regulation); and

 

 

Both these legislative pieces are currently being revised under the European Green Deal.

 

Environmental and climate legislation, which, potentially, could have a bearing on methane emissions, will be reviewed - this is the leitmotif of the European Commission’s Communication of 14 October 2020 on an EU strategy to reduce methane emissions (COM(2020) 663 final).


Pieces of legislation particularly in scope are:

 

 

 

  • IED.

 

As regards the IED option could be both from expanding the scope of the Directive to cover methane emitting sectors not yet included in its scope and a greater focus on methane during the reviews of Best Available Techniques (BAT) Reference Documents (BREF).

 

This would mean ensuring that techniques to reduce methane emissions are identified in BREF reviews and methane BAT-associated emission levels (BAT-AELs) are included in BAT conclusions.

 

The Commission will also review and assess:

 

  • the potential to expand the sectoral scope of the E-PRTR Regulation to report methane emissions;

 

  • the inclusion of methane among the pollutants regulated by the National Emission Reduction Commitments (NEC) Directive (by 2025);

 

  • the inclusion of methane in the zero-pollution monitoring framework to be developed under the Zero Pollution Action Plan announced for 2021 and the third edition of the EU Clean Air Outlook in 2022.

 

The above Communication also envisioned a legislative proposal on compulsory measurement, reporting and verification for all energy-related methane emissions, building on the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership (OGMP) methodology.

 

As regards actions in the energy sector this proposal was intended to cover:

  • compulsory measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) for all energy-related methane emissions, building on the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership (OGMP 2.0) methodology;
  • obligation to improve leak detection and repair (LDAR) of leaks on all fossil gas infrastructure, as well as any other infrastructure that produces, transports or uses fossil gas, including as a feedstock;
  • eliminating routine venting and flaring in the energy sector covering the full supply chain, up to the point of production.

 

The Commission will work to extend the OGMP framework to more companies in the gas and oil upstream, midstream and downstream as well as to the coal sector and closed as well as abandoned sites.
 


European Commission. Questions and Answers on methane emissions


The Commission will also consider legislation on eliminating routine venting and flaring in the energy sector as well as methane emission reduction targets, standards or other incentives for fossil energy consumed and imported in the EU in the absence of significant commitments to reduce methane emissions by international partners.

Some of the main actions in this strategy are as follows:

* The Commission will deliver legislative proposals in 2021 on compulsory measurement, reporting, and verification for all energy-related methane emissions and on an obligation to improve leak detection and repair of leaks on all fossil gas infrastructure.
* The Commission will consider legislation on eliminating routine venting and flaring in the energy sector.
* The Commission will consider methane emission reduction targets, standards or other incentives for fossil energy consumed and imported in the EU, in the absence of significant commitments to reduce methane emissions from international partners.


 

As a follow-up, on 15 December 2021 the European Commission Commission proposed new EU framework to reduce methane emissions (Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament Parliament and of the Council on methane emissions reduction in the energy sector and amending Regulation (EU) 2019/942, COM/2021/805 final).

 

Main provisions are structured within Chapters 3 - 5 of the Proposal:

 
- Chapter 3 – Methane emissions in the oil and gas sectors: this chapter lays down the obligations of operators and Member States with respect to measurement and reporting of methane emissions data, as well as obligations for the abatement of methane emissions in the relevant sites;

 

- Chapter 4 – Methane emissions in the coal sector: this chapter is divided in three sections to cover the following: monitoring and reporting of methane emissions in operating mines; mitigation of methane emissions in operating underground mines and methane emissions in closed and abandoned underground mines. Each section lays down the obligations of operators and Member States with respect to measurement and reporting of methane emissions data, as well as obligations for the abatement of methane emissions in the relevant sites;

 

- Chapter 5 – Methane emissions occurring outside the Union: this chapter introduces transparency tools for methane emissions occurring outside the Union: an information obligation by importers of fossil fuels with regards to methane emissions, a transparency list of Union companies and countries and companies exporting fossil energy to the Union, including information on their international reporting obligations with respect to methane emissions and a global monitoring tool to divulge the magnitude, recurrence and location of methane emitters globally. In addition, to account for imports of fossil energy into the Union, the chapter sets out importer information requirements, as well as the Commission’s prerogative to submit amending legislative proposals to impose more stringent measures on importers once better global methane emission data are available and ensuring compliance with the applicable international obligations of the Union.

 

What's important, draft Article 27 and Annex VIII set out the catalogue of information to be provided by importers of fossil fuels into the EU.

 



European Commission Proposal of 15 December 2021 for a Regulation of the European Parliament Parliament and of the Council on methane emissions reduction in the energy sector and amending Regulation (EU) 2019/942, Article 27, Annex VIII

Article 27
Importer requirements
1. By … [9 months from the date of entry into force of the Regulation] and by 31 December every year thereafter, importers shall provide the information set out in Annex VIII to the competent authorities of the importing Member State.
The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 31 to supplement this Regulation by amending or adding to the information to be provided by importers.
2. By … [12 months from the date of entry into force of the Regulation] and by 30 June every year thereafter, Member States shall submit to the Commission the information provided to them by importers.
The Commission shall make the information available in accordance with Article 28.
3. By 31 December 2025, or earlier if the Commission considers that sufficient evidence is available, the Commission shall examine the application of this Article, considering in particular:
(a) reporting of the available methane emissions data collected in the context of the global methane monitoring tool referred to in Article 29;
(b) methane emission data analysis by the IMEO;
(c) information on monitoring, reporting, verification and mitigation measures of operators located outside of the Union and from whom energy is imported into the Union; and
(d) security of supply and the level playing field implications in case of possible additional obligations, including mandatory measures such as methane emission standards or targets, taking into account the oil, gas and coal sectors separately.
Where appropriate and based on the necessary evidence to secure full compliance with the applicable international obligations of the Union, the Commission shall propose amendments to this Regulation to strengthen the requirements applicable to importers with the view to ensure a comparable level of effectiveness with respect to measurement, reporting and verification and mitigation of energy sector methane emissions.

Annex VIII
Information to be provided by importers

For the purposes of this Annex, ‘exporter’ means the contractual counterparty in each supply contract entered into by the importer for the delivery of fossil energy into the Union.

Pursuant to Article 27, importers must provide the following information:
(i) name and address of exporter and, if different from exporter, name and address of producer;
(ii) country and regions corresponding to the Union nomenclature of territorial units for statistics (NUTS) level 1 where the energy was produced and countries and corresponding to the Union nomenclature of territorial units for statistics (NUTS) level 1 through which the energy was transported until it was placed on the Union market;
(iii) as regards oil and fossil gas, whether the exporter is undertaking measurement and reporting of its methane emissions, either independently or as part of commitments to report national GHG inventories in line with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) requirements, and whether it is in compliance with UNFCCC reporting requirements or in compliance with Oil and Gas Methane Partnership 2.0 standards. This must be accompanied by a copy of the latest report on methane emissions, including, where available, the information referred to in Article 12(6). The method of quantification (such as UNFCCC tiers or OGMP levels) employed in the reporting must be specified for each type of emissions;
(iv) as regards oil and gas, whether the exporter applies regulatory or voluntary measures to control its methane emissions, including measures such as leak detection and repair surveys or measures to control and restrict venting and flaring of methane. This must be accompanied by a description of such measures, including, where available, reports from leak detection and repair surveys and from venting and flaring events with respect to the last available calendar year;
(v) as regards coal, whether the exporter is undertaking measurement and reporting of its methane emissions, either independently or as part of commitments to report national GHG inventories in line with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) requirements, and whether it is in compliance with UNFCCC reporting requirements or in compliance with an international or European standard for monitoring, reporting and verification of methane emissions. This must be accompanied by a copy of the latest report on methane emissions, including, where available the information referred to in Article 20(6). The method of quantification (such as UNFCCC tiers or OGMP levels) employed in the reporting must be specified for each type of emissions;
(vi) as regards coal, whether the exporter applies regulatory or voluntary measures to control its methane emissions, including measures to control and restrict venting and flaring of methane. This must be accompanied by a description of such measures, including, where available, reports from venting and flaring events with respect to the last available calendar year;
(vii) name of the entity that performed independent verification of the reports referred to in points (iii) and (v), if any.