Members' Research Service By / March 15, 2022

Fit for 55 package: Reducing methane emissions in the energy sector [EU Legislation in Progress]

A key feature of greenhouse gases (GHG) – especially meaningful in the context of global warming – is their ability to trap heat in the atmosphere.

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Written by Henrique Morgado Simões (1st edition).

On 15 December 2021, the Commission presented a proposal to regulate methane emissions reductions in the energy sector. The proposal is part of the second batch of proposals in the ‘fit for 55’ package, aiming to align EU climate and energy laws with the EU Climate Law’s 2030 target.

The proposal aims to address gaps in current legislation: those relating to methane emissions from upstream exploration and the production of oil and fossil gas, but also those from the gathering and processing of fossil gas, the transmission, distribution and underground storage of gas, and liquid gas terminals operating with fossil and/or renewable methane. The proposal furthermore introduces provisions on methane emissions from coal mines and those originating from outside the EU in relation to importer information requirements, the methane transparency database and the methane-emitters monitoring tool. Similarly, it sets out requirements for methane emissions reduction, monitoring and reporting, leak detection and repair, and limits to venting and flaring.

In Parliament, the proposal was referred to the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), with the rapporteur still to be appointed.

Versions

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on methane emissions reduction in the energy sector and amending Regulation (EU) 2019/942
Committee responsible:Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI)COM(2021) 805
15.12.2021
Rapporteur:To be appointed2021/0423(COD)
Shadow rapporteurs:Günther Sidl (S&D, Austria)
Martin Hojsík (Renew, Slovakia)
Ordinary legislative procedure (COD)
(Parliament and Council
on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: Appointment of rapporteur

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