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Climate Change: UN Raises Alarm Over Excessive Methane Release in the Oil, Gas Operations



Gas plant

Due to the issue of climate change, the United Nation Environmental Programme (UNEP) has raised concern on the need to cut down the release of methane emissions, especially in the oil and gas sector, Guardian reports.

Methane is a colourless, odourless flammable gas, which is the main constituent of natural gas. Its harmful nature makes it injurious to one’s health when breathed in.

In a report released ahead of the UN Climate Summit in September, it says that ‘the petroleum industry is one of the largest man-made emission sources of methane’, noting that the oil and gas sector produces about one-quarter of global anthropogenic methane emissions, which is mainly responsible for climate change.

UNEP also stated that methane is responsible for at least a quarter of global warming, and is over 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a warming gas over a twenty-year time frame.

Methane also helps to form ground-level ozone, a dangerous air pollutant that is responsible for approximately one million deaths.

Mark Radka, Head of UNEP Energy and Climate Branch, said that “the oil and gas sector, which is increasingly recognizing the importance to act on climate change, can make a big difference by virtually eliminating methane emissions.”

UNEP also insists that the ‘development would not only be beneficial to the people or country, but will benefit the industry too.’

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