Driving down methane leaks from the oil and gas industry

Reducing methane emissions from oil and gas operations is among the most cost-effective and impactful actions that governments can take to achieve global climate goals. There is a major opportunity for countries looking to develop policies and regulations in this area to learn from the experience of jurisdictions that have already adopted methane-specific regulations in order to design frameworks that are adapted and tailored to local circumstances. One of the aims of any new policy effort should be to improve measurement and reporting of emissions data, which can in turn lead to more efficient regulatory interventions. However, the current state of information on emissions should not stand in the way of early action on methane abatement. Experience shows that countries can take an important “first step” today based on existing tools, which may include prescriptive requirements on known “problem sources” combined with monitoring programmes that seek to detect and address the largest emissions sources (“super‑emitters”). In terms of process, implementing a new policy or regulation should involve three distinct phases, each covered in detail in this roadmap: understanding the local setting and circumstances, regulatory design and development, and finally, implementation.