EU Gas Policy Reveal

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The European Commission has unveiled a number of new energy policy proposals focused on decarbonizing natural gas, which was not covered in its big “Fit for 55” policy package released in July. As part of this hydrogen and gas market decarbonization package released on Wednesday, Brussels confirms it is planning to prohibit long-term contracts for natural gas supplies with unabated carbon dioxide emissions that extend beyond 2049. Another proposal aims to reduce methane emissions from energy. Methane, a short-lived greenhouse gas and the main component of natural gas, from the energy sector accounts for 19% of the EU’s anthropogenic methane emissions, excluding imports. The policies are being considered as an extension of the EU and US-backed Global Methane Pledge. The regulation will apply to oil and fossil gas upstream exploration and production, gas gathering and processing, transmission, distribution, underground storage and LNG terminals. Underground and surface coal mines, whether operational or closed, will also be included. As expected from previously leaked drafts, companies would have to report methane emissions regularly, take measures to detect and repair leaks, which could be penalized if these are not dealt with. The commission also wants to ban routine flaring and venting of methane. The proposals also include an obligation on energy importers to provide information on the reported methane emissions and mitigation measures in the country of origin of the fuel. Other measures aim to decarbonize buildings in the EU by 2050, with Brussels proposing that all new private buildings must be zero-emission by 2030 while all new public buildings must be so by 2027. National building plans must include roadmaps for phasing out fossil fuels in heating and cooling by 2040 it said.

Low-Carbon Policy, Flaring, Hydrogen
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