Gas | Policy Brief
The EU can reduce global methane emissions by jointly purchasing gas
10 February 2023
BY: Andris Piebalgs, OLCZAK Maria
The European Union (EU) is likely to face a gas supply-demand gap of 27 bcm in 2023-2024. This gap could be reduced by enhancing its partnership with oil and gas producing countries with spare export capacity – particularly Algeria, Egypt and Nigeria – to incentivise the capture and export of gas that is currently wasted (flared, vented and leaked). To tap this opportunity the EU could combine two measures in the REPowerEU toolbox: joint gas purchasing and 'You collect/we buy’ schemes (purchasing frameworks aimed to incentivise the capture of wasted fossil gasses, including methane, under the EU energy diplomacy). This combination would enable the main barriers preventing greater capture of methane to be addressed while taking advantage of the Union’s leverage: the presence of non-operated joint ventures (NOJVs) controlled by EU-based undertakings in the region; and the upcoming EU Methane Regulation covering domestic emissions and those associated with fossil energy imports. This approach would help the EU increase its energy security without triggering unintended policy consequences: compromising on its climate targets; prolonging reliance on fossil fuels; or decelerating the energy transition in developing economies. If successful, the scheme could be replicated in other regions to support achievement of the Global Methane Pledge objectives.
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