SHARM EL SHEIKH, EGYPT—President Biden will tighten emissions limits on methane, a potent greenhouse gas, to help developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change and move to cleaner technologies, the White House says. It is showing a movement to increase the funds to do so.
Biden will announce the measures in his speech ahead of the United Nations climate conference, known as COP27, according to a fact sheet released by the White House ahead of his speech. The action includes a plan by the Environmental Protection Agency to require oil and gas companies to monitor existing production facilities for methane leaks and repair them, government officials said.
Methane is 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in its ability to trap heat from solar radiation for the first 20 years in the atmosphere. According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration measurements, it has contributed to about 0.5 degrees Celsius of global warming since pre-industrial times, and that level is rising rapidly.
The planned rule will affect hundreds of thousands of wells, storage tanks and natural gas processing plants in the United States, forcing companies to replace old leaky equipment and purchase new monitoring tools.
EPA Administrator Michael Regan said flaring, a technique used by gas producers to burn excess methane from oil and natural gas wells, will be curtailed at all well sites under the planned rule. Owners should monitor methane emissions from abandoned wells and plug leaks, he said.
“We have tightened our regulations to limit flaring as much as possible without banning flaring,” Regan said.
The American Petroleum Institute, which represents US oil and gas producers, said it was considering the proposed rule.
“Building on industry advancements, federal regulations on methane will help accelerate emissions reductions while developing reliable American energy,” said API’s senior vice president of policy, economic and regulatory affairs. Frank McCarola said in a statement.
In a statement, Rachel Kuritas, chief economist for the nonprofit advocacy group Union of Concerned Scientists, said in a statement that the EPA was “imposing significant methane emissions by issuing strict standards for methane emissions from oil and gas operations. We have taken a step forward,” he said.
Biden is walking a political tightrope during his brief stay in Egypt on his way to summits in Cambodia and Indonesia. The war in Ukraine has disrupted energy markets and highlighted the world’s continued dependence on fossil fuels.
Control of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives remains entwined in a race that was all too close as of early Friday morning, with both parties gearing up for a final outcome that may not be many days away. rice field. Deeply skeptical of Biden’s climate agenda, if Republicans gain control of either House, they will commit billions of dollars to help other countries transition to cleaner energy sources. For Republicans reluctant to spend, it means more power.
The White House said Biden is expected to announce an additional $100 million to the United Nations Adaptation Fund. This will help countries adapt to the floods, droughts and storms that climate scientists say are increasing in frequency and severity as the planet’s atmosphere and oceans warm. The US has yet to pay his $50 million pledge to the fund at last year’s climate talks in Glasgow.
The United States also owes $2 billion to the United Nations Green Climate Fund, which funds renewable energy and climate adaptation projects in developing countries. The administration is requesting $1.6 billion for this fund in the 2023 budget.
The White House said Biden would also pledge $150 million to the US fund for climate adaptation and resilience across Africa. He has provided the World Meteorological Organization with $13.6 million to collect additional weather, water and climate observations across Africa. $15 million to help NOAA work with local weather forecasting agencies to deploy early warning systems in Africa.
The US pledge does not address demands by poor countries to fund damage they say is the result of climate-related weather events. This is a new category of funds known as “loss and damage”. At this week’s summit, Belgium and Germany jointly pledged €172 million (equivalent to $176 million) to help pay for loss and damage to developing countries. Scotland pledged $5.8 million and Ireland $10 million.
The World Bank estimates that severe flooding hit Pakistan this summer, killing more than 1,700 people and displacing 33 million. Senator Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s federal minister for climate change, said he expects more resources from the US and other countries to help the country.
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“We need more,” Lehman said in an interview. “What you hear all over the COP is ‘Action Now.’ Everything else is fluff.
US negotiators worry that the concept of loss and damage will expose wealthier countries to spiraling liability. There is also scientific uncertainty in determining whether it is part of the seasonal variation. But US climate envoy John Kerry said at a meeting this week that he was open to discussing loss and damage.
Biden arrived at the climate summit on Friday after most world leaders left. He personally met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at a conference in a resort town on the Red Sea. The United States and Germany on Friday raised his $250 million financing to build 10 gigawatts of new wind and solar energy facilities and retire 5 gigawatts of inefficient natural gas power plants in Egypt. I was planning to announce the program.
The Biden administration’s commitment to curbing methane emissions follows a deal reached during a summit in Glasgow a year ago, when China and the United States pledged to work to cut gas emissions.Beijing this week announced plans to cut methane emissions, but has yet to include new measures in its climate plan submitted to the United Nations.
Nigeria has announced first-ever regulations, including a flaring limit, reducing overall methane emissions by more than 60% from 2020 levels. Canada said on Thursday that by 2030 she plans to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas industry by more than 75% from 2012 levels.
An analysis of 300 wells in four states, published in September in Science, found emissions from flaring are much higher than previous government and industry estimates.
According to the White House, 260 billion cubic meters of gas is wasted each year due to flaring and methane emissions within the oil and gas sector.
Under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, countries aim to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, preferably below 1.5 degrees Celsius. According to a recent United Nations report, the world is set to warm by 2.5 degrees Celsius or 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century, due to the gap between the emissions cuts pledged by 166 countries, including the United States, and current emissions.
White House officials say Biden supports the Democratic Climate, Health and Tax Act, which allocates hundreds of billions of dollars to climate and energy programs, including tax credits for buying electric cars and investments in clean technology. pointing out that
Administration officials said the legislation put the U.S. on track to meet Mr. Biden’s goal of reducing domestic emissions by 50% from 2005 levels by 2030.
— Matthew Dalton and Scott Patterson Contributed to this article.
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