International declaration calls for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels

The European Union, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Norway and Singapore have signed a joint declaration on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels, committing to take rapid action to address the climate and energy security crises.

The parties said they affirm the need to accelerate global transitions to clean energy, recognizing that reliance on unabated fossil fuels leaves the world vulnerable to market volatility and geopolitical challenges.

According to the joint statement, the partners recognize that under IPCC 1.5°C-aligned scenarios, fossil fuel consumption will persist, at rapidly declining levels, as the global energy transition unfolds, and as such, emphasize that dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the fossil fuel energy value chain is a necessary complement to global energy decarbonization in order to limit warming to 1.5°C.

“We commit to taking immediate action to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with fossil energy production and consumption, particularly to reduce methane emissions,” the declaration states.

“We emphasize that reducing methane and other greenhouse gas emissions from the fossil energy sector enhances energy security by reducing avoidable routine flaring, venting, and leakage that wastes natural gas. We also note that these measures will also improve health outcomes by eliminating black carbon and other associated air pollutants.”

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The signatories have called on fossil energy importers to take steps to reduce methane emissions associated with their energy consumption, thus spurring emissions reductions across the value chain, as well as fossil energy producers to implement projects and supporting policies and measures to achieve emissions reductions across operations.

In the joint declaration, the governments further call for global action to reduce methane emissions in the fossil energy sector to the fullest extent practicable, with the aim to reduce warming by 0.1°C by midcentury, consistent with International Energy Agency findings of the near-term warming reduction effects of fully deploying technically feasible mitigation in this sector.

They also reaffirmed the call to action under the Global Methane Pledge to reduce collective anthropogenic methane emissions by at least 30 per cent from 2020 levels by 2030 as an essential strategy to reduce warming in the near-term and keep a 1.5°C limit on temperature rise within reach.

The parties note they will support domestic and international action to achieve emissions reductions across the fossil energy value chain, such as adopting policies and measures to achieve rapid and sustained reductions in methane and CO2 emissions and those to support robust measurement, monitoring, reporting, and verification, as well as transparency for methane emissions data in the sector.

This also includes strengthening coalitions to reduce methane and CO2 emissions in value chains of internationally traded fossil fuels and mobilizing technical assistance and financing for methane and CO2 mitigation in the fossil energy sector.

“Recognizing the urgency of reducing emissions from fossil energy value chains, we commit to working towards the creation of an international market for fossil energy that minimizes flaring, methane, and CO2 emissions across the value chain to the fullest extent practicable, as we also work to phase down fossil fuel consumption,” the declaration writes.

“We support the development of frameworks or standards for fossil energy suppliers to provide accurate, transparent, and reliable information to purchasers about the methane and CO2 emissions associated with their value chains.”

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President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen voiced the Commission’s support for the introduction of an oil price cap. At the G20 Summit currently taking place in Bali, Von der Leyen stated that clean energy is the only answer to both the energy and climate crises.

“With regard to energy, Russia’s war was an eye-opener to the European Union. We see literally, that Russia – instead of selling gas – prefers to flare gas. This tightens the global energy market and leads to skyrocketing prices,” Von der Leyen said.

“We therefore support the introduction of an oil price cap. This will also strongly benefit the low- and middle-income countries. Our best response to this is to speed up the green transition towards clean energy.”