OTTAWA, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Canada has published strengthened oil and gas methane regulations to further cut emissions from this potent greenhouse gas, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault announced on Monday.
The move makes good on Canada's commitment when it became the first country in the world to set a target of reducing oil and gas methane emissions by at least 75 percent from 2012 levels by 2030, Guilbeault said in a news release.
The proposed methane regulations are consistent with calls from the International Energy Agency for all oil- and gas-producing countries to reduce methane emissions from the sector by 75 percent by 2030, the release said.
Further work is required to accurately quantify methane emissions and Canada is working with scientists, academics, and industry to close the gap between reported and measured emissions, the release said, noting that reducing methane emissions is one of the lowest-cost actions Canada can take to reduce greenhouse gases.
Environment and Climate Change Canada estimated that the cost to comply with the draft regulations will be about 70 Canadian dollars (52 U.S. dollars)/tonne of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions. Other estimates from independent experts indicated that the actual cost could be even lower than this already conservative estimate.
According to the release, from 2027 to 2040, the proposed amendments are estimated to have incremental costs of 15.4 billion Canadian dollars (11.4 billion U.S. dollars), while the cumulative GHG reductions are estimated to be 217 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, valued at 27.8 billion Canadian dollars (20.5 billion U.S. dollars) in terms of the estimated social benefits of avoided global damages. The monetized net benefits of the proposed amendments are estimated to be 12.4 billion Canadian dollars (9.1 billion U.S. dollars).
Canada also announced on Monday a 30 million Canadian dollars (22 million U.S. dollars) investment to establish a Methane Centre of Excellence in the near term to improve the understanding and reporting of methane emissions.