The European Union (EU) has aggressively advanced its fight against climate change as lawmakers approved a groundbreaking law on Wednesday aimed at curbing methane emissions from fossil fuel imports. Scheduled to take effect in 2030, this legislation targets the significant reduction of methane leaks, a potent greenhouse gas predominantly emitted through natural gas.

Methane ranks as the second leading cause of global warming, right after carbon dioxide. However, it has a much more potent warming effect in the short term compared to CO2. Experts emphasize the urgency of reducing methane emissions within this decade to avoid severe climate consequences.

Green Party lawmaker Jutta Paulus, instrumental in the legislation’s negotiation within the EU Parliament, celebrated the move.

“The EU is finally fighting the climate killer methane,” the Green Party lawmaker said in a statement. “The first European law to reduce the second most important greenhouse gas will make an important contribution to achieving the EU climate target and fulfilling the commitments in the Global Methane Pledge.” she added.

Impact on Global Gas Suppliers

The legislation sets methane intensity limits for fossil fuel producers exporting to the EU, starting in 2030. This will impact major EU gas suppliers, including countries like the United States, Algeria, and Russia. Amidst declining Russian gas exports to the EU over the past year, Norway stands out with its relatively low methane emissions, becoming Europe’s top pipeline gas supplier.

The European Council must formally endorse the law before it becomes effective. It will then be published in the EU Official Journal and come into force 20 days afterward.

A Step Towards Global Climate Cooperation

This initiative by the European Union (EU) shows the rising awareness of methane’s crucial role in climate change and the necessity for international collaboration to tackle emissions related to fossil fuel imports. Amid escalating climate challenges, measures like these are considered pivotal in the worldwide effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and preserve the environment for coming generations.

This law not only represents a major leap in the EU’s environmental policy but also delivers a powerful message to the international community about the urgency of decisive action against all factors contributing to climate change.

Image Source: Swissinfo