The new global study comes out of an announcement made by EDF and several oil and gas companies in 2015 at COP21 in Paris to better quantify the industry’s contribution to global methane emissions across the value chain. Since then, Phase-1 work has focused on understanding what data gaps exist and what additional science would be most effective in filling those gaps. Phase 2, which started in 2018, consists of field studies using multiple measurement methods.
The studies are governed by a Steering Committee of funders. The science will be guided by a Scientific Advisory Panel and Chief Scientist, Steven Hamburg of the Environmental Defense Fund. The governance protocols for the studies will build on the model and experience of the EDF-led studies in the US, aimed at ensuring scientific integrity. This includes measures to safeguard researchers’ independence and publication of the studies in peer-reviewed journals.
The Coalition, whose Secretariat is hosted by UN Environment, has made this new science initiative an official part of its work. This will allow the study to take advantage of synergies with the CCAC Oil & Gas Methane Partnership, a public-private voluntary initiative that helps oil and gas companies take a systematic approach to reducing emissions and reporting on progress. For example, some studies could build on the field surveys that some companies are carrying out under the Oil & Gas Methane Partnership.
Over $6 million has been committed by EDF and the companies of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative. Other companies and CCAC Partner governments are invited to provide additional funding to the studies to help expand their scope.
The OGCI companies are BP, CNPC, Eni, Pemex, Reliance Industries Limited, Repsol, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Statoil, and Total. Additional companies, governments or other organisations interested in contributing to the studies should contact the activity coordinators.