Australia-headquartered Woodside Energy Ltd. has joined BP, Eni, ExxonMobil, Gazprom, Repsol, Shell, Statoil, Total and Wintershall in signing Guiding Principles that commit it to further reduce methane emissions from the natural gas assets it operates.
In signing the Guiding Principles, Woodside also agrees to encourage others across the natural gas value chain – from production to the final consumer – to do the same.
Since natural gas consists mainly of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, its role in the transition to a low-carbon future will be influenced by the extent to which methane emissions are reduced. Some studies have shown that leakage of methane in the production and transportation of natural gas is enough to cancel out the benefits of the lower emissions levels produced by its combustion compared to other fossil fuels like coal.
“Numerous studies have shown the importance of quickly reducing methane emissions if we’re to meet growing energy demand and multiple environmental goals,” Mark Radka, head of UN Environment’s Energy and Climate Branch, said in a statement. “The Guiding Principles provide an excellent framework for doing so across the entire natural gas value chain, particularly if they’re linked to reporting on the emissions reductions achieved.”
The Guiding Principles focus on: continually reducing methane emissions; advancing strong performance across gas value chains; improving accuracy of methane emissions data; advocating sound policies and regulations on methane emissions; and increasing transparency.
The Guiding Principles were developed in collaboration with the Environmental Defense Fund, the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Gas Union, the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative Climate Investments, the Rocky Mountain Institute, the Sustainable Gas Institute, The Energy and Resources Institute, and United Nations Environment.