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BP Commits To Lowering Methane Emissions

The company says it will only allow .2 percent of methane released in its gas operations to escape into the atmosphere

The oil giant BP has become the first major international oil company to commit to lowering its methane emissions.

Methane is much more potent than carbon emissions when it comes to climate change and accounts for about a quarter of global warming.  Plugging leaks and updating equipment in oil and gas field operations would go a long way to reducing methane in the atmosphere.

Now that’s what BP says it’s going to do at sites that produce natural gas for market. Ben Ratner works on methane issues at the Environmental defense fund. He says the BP announcement is an exciting first step.

“For a methane target to be strong it must cover oil and gas production and that’s an important way that the BP target should be improved in the future is that oil production where they’re not marketing the gas can still have methane emissions and those emissions must be targeted,” Ratner explained. 

The company says it will only allow .2 percent of methane released in its gas operations to escape into the atmosphere.  Ratner said he’d also like an independent system set up to verify whether the company is reaching that goal.

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