Methane and Environment Programme (MEP)

The Methane and Environment Programme (MEP), was officially launched in May 2018.

The programme was set up to undertake follow-on work after the launch of the first White Paper ‘Methane and CO2 emissions from the natural gas supply chain’ and is led by Dr Paul Balcombe and Dr Adam Hawkes, in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London.

The aim of the research group is to improve our understanding of the methane emissions and how to reduce them most effectively.

Research is being carried out to understand the pathways and what the limitations are to reducing methane emissions as well as the role of natural gas in future lower carbon energy systems.


More specifically, the key objectives are to:

  • Quantify the variation and distribution of emissions across different regions, routes, natural gas resources and processes.
  • Improve emissions estimation methodologies and reduce uncertainties associated with emissions reporting.
  • Work with industry and policy makers to develop cost-effective routes to mitigate emissions.
  • Assess the impact of methane emissions on the climate, human health and on ecosystems.

The MEP uses three major research methods to provide key assessments to inform policy and industrial action:

  • Environmental life cycle assessment;
  • Process simulation and probabilistic analysis
  • Energy systems modelling

Our partners

Many governments, industry, and nongovernmental organisations are beginning to work together to advance methane measurement and mitigation efforts. The Institute has been working alongside a number of organisations as part of the Sustainable Gas Institute MEP.

Research collaborations include: