Alberta welcomes the announcement in Washington, D.C., between Canada and the United States to work together to cut methane emissions and to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change.
“I am exceptionally proud today to know that, in Washington, one of the three major topics being discussed by our Prime Minister and the President of the United States is a methane emissions reduction plan that is modeled exactly on the plan that we introduced here in Alberta last fall. We are very proud to have been able to play the leadership role that we are playing on a continental basis.”
Under its Climate Leadership Plan, Alberta will reduce methane emissions from oil and gas operations by 45 per cent by 2025 by:
- applying new emissions design standards to new facilities,
- improving measurement and reporting of methane emissions,
- developing a five-year voluntary Joint Initiative on Methane Reduction and Verification, and
- backstopping these approaches with regulated mandatory standards effective in 2020 to ensure the 2025 target is met.
Reducing methane emissions is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 2013, methane emissions from Alberta’s oil and gas sector were more than 30 megatonnes, accounting for 70 per cent of provincial methane emissions and 25 per cent of all upstream oil and gas emissions. Methane has 25-times the global warming impact of carbon dioxide over 100 years.
Other emission-reduction strategies in Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan are:
- phasing out highly polluting emissions from coal-fired electricity, using renewables and cleaner-burning alternatives;
- instituting a carbon levy to reduce carbon pollution in all sectors and reinvesting the funds in efficiency programs for households, communities and businesses; and
- legislating a limit on oil sands emissions in partnership with industry leaders.