COP27: COP27: Oil & gas emissions 3 times higher than figures being reported, data shows

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Emissions from oil and gas production globally are estimated to be three times higher, according to the latest data released at the UN climate summit (COP27). Highlighting the fact that emission data from oil and gas production worldwide are significantly underreported, Climate Trace, which is a non-profit coalition of organizations that monitors greenhouse gas emissions, said half of the 50 largest sources of emissions across the world are oil and gas production fields and their associated facilities.

It said, “Globally, emissions from oil and gas production are significantly underreported, with the data showing that of the countries required to report regularly to the UNFCCC, emissions are as much as three times higher.”

As per the latest data, the Permian Basin in Texas, the US, is the largest emitter and the top 14 sources of emissions in the world are oil and gas fields.

Climate Trace coalition said, “The top 500 sources represent less than 1 per cent of the total Climate TRACE inventory but accounts for 14 per cent of global emissions for 2021 – more than the annual emissions of the United States. 51 per cent of those emissions are from power plants.”

“We cannot manage and reduce emissions if we cannot measure them,” said Al Gore, former vice president of the US and a founding member of the Climate Trace coalition.

He further said, “Last year, we found that emissions from oil and gas production were about double what countries reported to the United Nations. With new data on flaring and methane leaks, we estimate actual emissions are likely triple current reports”.

He said oil and gas producers are underreporting emissions. The actual measurements are shocking (3 times). It’s important because methane has been increasing.

Methane is more harmful as it has more than 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide over the first 20 years after it reaches the atmosphere.

In order to reduce global methane emissions more than 100 countries have signed the Global Methane Pledge. They committed to reduce global methane emissions by at least 30 per cent by 2030 from 2020 levels so to to keep alive the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal.

It should be noted that India is not part of the Global Methane Pledge but is among the top five methane emitters globally, according to the International Energy Agency.

Climate TRACE’s comprehensive data provides a complete inventory of 72,612 individual sites across 241 countries and territories and emissions from every major sector and sub-sector, said Gore.

The over 70,000 individual sites — including specific power plants, steel mills, urban road networks, and oil and gas fields — represent the top known sources of emissions in the power sector, oil and gas production and refining, shipping, aviation, mining, waste, agriculture, road transportation, and the production of steel, cement, and aluminum.

With inputs from PTI

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