Canada, US Unveil Plan to Slash Methane, But Where's the Fracking Ban?

October 5, 2020 0 By HearthstoneYarns

Canada and the United States announced on Thursday joint plans to tackle climate change including slashing methane emissions—a decision welcomed by environmental groups who charge that President Barack Obama still has more steps to take to protect communities and secure a legacy as a climate leader.

The joint statement from the two nations says that Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “regard the Paris Agreement as a turning point in global efforts to combat climate change and anchor economic growth in clean development.”

The plan includes cutting emissions of methane—a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide—from the oil and gas sector by 40-45 percent below 2012 levels by 2025. Those emissions are “the world’s largest industrial methane source,” the statement reads.

It also advocates using a science-based approach to making decisions on further Arctic extraction, fostering the advancement of clean energy technology, and “adopting in 2016 a carbon offset measure that will allow for carbon neutral growth from international civil aviation.” The statement adds:

Many environmental groups cheered the measures outlined by the leaders. Michael LeVine, Pacific senior counsel for Oceana, for example, welcomed what he saw as “vital steps toward a sustainable future for the Arctic region,” while Natural Resources Defense Council president Rhea Suh said they “herald a new day in our cross-border partnership to combat dangerous climate change and transition to a cleaner and more prosperous economy.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency admitted last month what previous studies have pointed to—that the fossil fuel industry is emitting more methane than previously thought. And as methane is the main component of natural gas, the announcement targets the fracking boom—a point swiftly noted by the powerful American Petroleum Institute (API).

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