Methane emissions – the issue

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, and over the last two centuries its concentration in the atmosphere has more than doubled. In addition to contributing to climate change, it also impacts on human health and ecosystem damage via ground level ozone creation. But the cause of this rise is unclear.

Our research into methane emissions is improving the state of knowledge of the emissions from natural gas supply chains and developing approaches to monitor, estimate and enable cost-minimising and fair emission reductions.

Why carry out research into methane emissions?

A great deal of research is still needed to understand methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, as well as from coal, agriculture and waste. It is also important to improve our understanding of the impact of atmospheric methane concentrations on climate change and other environmental effects.

We need to improve tools for detecting, measuring and reducing emissions. This is vital for natural gas in particular, as methane emissions could negate the benefits associated switching from high carbon intensity fuels (coal and oil).

In recent years, leading oil and gas companies have increased their focus on emission reduction, while others have pledged to a near zero methane emissions future.

Independent academic research is essential to provide transparency and robustness in understanding the issue and determining the mitigation potential at different supply chain stages around the world.

The Methane and Environment Programme (MEP)

The Sustainable Gas Institute launched the Methane and Environment Programme (MEP) in May 2018.