The Environment Committee of the European Parliament has adopted a report on the European Commission’s strategy to reduce methane emissions.
Meeting yesterday (Tuesday, September 28), the committee voted in favour of the report by 61 votes to 10, with seven abstentions.
The report will now have to be voted on by the full parliament. This is expected to take place in a plenary session between October 18 and 21.
The report calls on the commission to propose a new law with binding measures and methane reduction targets, covering all sectors to “significantly reduce” methane emissions in the EU by 2030, in line with the Paris Agreement.
A statement from the committee said that reduction in human-caused methane emissions is “one of the most cost-effective strategies to slow down climate change while at the same time improving air quality and protecting the health of citizens”.
The report calls for the mandatory monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) for all methane-emitting sectors, as well as mandatory leak detection and repair (LDAR) programmes, covering the full supply chain in the energy and petrochemical sectors.
However, the committee says that agriculture represents the largest share of methane emission sources in the EU; but also “offers the second-highest overall methane-emissions reduction potential of any sector”.
MEPs are calling on member states and the commission to introduce “effective and sustainable measures” to address those emissions while ensuring that food continues to be produced “in the most environmentally sustainable locations and that production is not just moved outside the EU”.
The commission published the strategy to reduce methane emissions on October 14, last year.
The commission said it will improve reporting of emissions from agriculture through better data collection, and promote opportunities to reduce emissions with support from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
The main focus will be on best practice sharing for methane-reducing technologies, animal diets and breeding management.