Significantly reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector is a critical part of Canada’s climate plan to reduce greenhouse gas pollution in the oil and gas sector. These reductions will improve air quality, drive innovation in the industry, and help to transition the sector to net-zero emissions by 2050.
The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, released a report confirming that Canada is on track to meet the goal of reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40–45 percent by 2025. The review, ordered as part of Canada’s strengthened climate plan, provides a current snapshot of the quickly evolving federal methane regime. The current federal methane regulations and equivalency agreements with the provinces are expected to generate approximately 10 million tonnes (Mt) of emission reductions in carbon dioxide equivalent in 2025, representing a 39 percent reduction in methane emissions from 2012 levels. Complementary initiatives such as funding programs at the federal, provincial, and private sector levels will achieve additional reductions, bringing the total expected reductions by 2025 into the 40–45 percent target range.
The work to date sets a strong foundation for continued progress on reducing methane emissions. It provides a solid basis for launching consultations in early 2022 on new federal regulations that will be developed to reduce oil and gas methane emissions by at least 75 percent by 2030 compared with 2012 levels.
Building on actions taken to achieve its 2025 oil and gas methane target, the Government is implementing a suite of measures that include:
- Strengthening the Emissions Reduction Fund to achieve further emissions reductions before 2025 and beyond to 2030;
- Improving quantification of methane emissions from the oil and gas sector in the 2022 edition of the National Inventory Report;
- Working with international partners, including the United States, to identify best practices, improve measuring and reporting, and drive low-cost reductions in the sector; and
- Developing a plan to reduce methane emissions across the broader Canadian economy in support of the Global Methane Pledge and the goals in Canada’s climate plan.
The Government of Canada is also developing an approach to cap and cut oil and gas sector emissions, implementing the Clean Fuel Standard to accelerate the adoption of cleaner fuels, and putting a price on carbon pollution through to 2030.
Together, these measures support Minister Guilbeault’s mandate letter from the Prime Minister, which included instructions to “further reduce methane emissions across the economy.”
The Government remains committed to achieving its 2025 target for oil and gas methane emissions and will continue to monitor and report on progress in this regard. Achieving this goal is an essential part of the Government’s efforts to meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 45 percent by 2030. That is why Canada was one of the first countries in the world to regulate methane emissions from the oil and gas sector at the national level—and more recently became the first to commit to at least a 75 percent reduction by 2030.
The Government will consult the provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples, industry, and civil society in the design of regulations to achieve at least a 75 percent reduction in methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 2030. In early 2022, Environment and Climate Change Canada will publish a discussion paper and hold targeted consultations on this new measure.