The US is in negotiations with Turkmenistan above an agreement to plug the central Asian nation’s colossal methane leaks.
Turkmenistan was responsible for 184 “super-emitter” activities in which the potent greenhouse gas was introduced in 2022, the greatest variety in the entire world. 1 triggered climate pollution equal to the price of emissions from 67m cars and trucks.
US officers hope that some leaks from Turkmenistan’s oil and gas field could be halted by the commence of the UN’s Cop28 local weather summit in late November. Success would symbolize a key accomplishment in tackling the climate crisis.
Methane emissions cause 25% of world wide heating today. A surge because 2007 could be the largest threat to keeping below 1.5C of world wide heating higher than pre-industrial concentrations and severely threats triggering catastrophic climate tipping details, in accordance to experts. Tackling leaks from fossil gasoline web sites is the fastest, simplest and most economical way to slash methane emissions.
John Kerry, the US distinctive envoy for local climate, spoke with the president of Turkmenistan, Serdar Berdimuhamedov, on Monday. In April, US secretary of state Antony Blinken met foreign minister Rashid Meredov in Washington DC, with Blinken “underscoring the essential importance of lowering methane emissions to beat the weather disaster and outlining options to work with Turkmenistan”.
“The US and Turkmenistan … will endeavour to attribute methane mitigation results by Cop28,” a US statement said. An arrangement could see the US giving financial aid and experience, in accordance to Bloomberg information.
After the Kerry-Berdimuhamedov get in touch with, Turkmenistan’s overseas ministry recorded an “exchange of views” and claimed “systematic operate is currently being carried out in our place … focused on the consistent introduction of innovative environmentally friendly resource-preserving systems in the oil and fuel, power, transportation and other industries”. Satellite details reveals minimal alter in Turkmenistan’s methane emissions from 2019-2022.
New satellite info is more and more putting the spotlight on nations with main methane leaks. These involve the US, where new rules will impose significant fines for leaks, and Russia.
In early May well, the Guardian discovered that methane leaks by itself from Turkmenistan’s two key fossil gas fields triggered a lot more global heating in 2022 than the entire carbon emissions of the British isles. Emissions of the gasoline ended up “mind-boggling” and an “infuriating” problem that ought to be straightforward to fix, experts mentioned.
In March, the Guardian exposed that Turkmenistan was the worst nation in the entire world for methane “super emitting” leaks, based mostly on satellite details analysis by French company Kayrros.
The leaks are believed to occur from ageing and poorly managed oil and gas pipelines and from the venting to the ambiance of undesired methane gasoline that is made together with oil, nevertheless gathering data on the floor in the repressive and authoritarian condition is pretty hard.
A recent scientific review found major leaks from just 29 items of equipment in a single of Turkmenistan’s major fossil fuel fields. It also prompt a change from the flaring of methane, when unwelcome gasoline is burned, to venting was at the rear of some of the vast outpourings. Burning the fuel generates carbon dioxide, which will cause about 80 periods less world heating about 20 a long time. Relighting flares is uncomplicated and fixing leaks raises the total of gasoline captured, raising revenues.
“Pumping gasoline out of the floor and promptly releasing it into the air is about as intelligent as driving a car or truck about a cliff,” said Prof Euan Nisbet of Royal Holloway, University of London, a member of the scientific oversight committee of the UN Worldwide Methane Emissions Observatory (Imeo). “Kerry will are worthy of significantly credit score if the US can enable Turkmenistan promptly slice its methane emissions.”
Manfredi Caltagirone, head of Imeo, advised the Guardian: “Reducing methane emissions is critical to achieving the objective of the Paris Agreement. Turkmenistan is an essential country of concentration for international steps on methane emissions, but so are other big emitting countries this sort of as Russia, US, Iran, Iraq, China, Libya, Algeria, Venezuela and Canada.”
Imeo, hosted by the UN Ecosystem Programme, is creating a worldwide dataset of confirmed methane emissions that will be reported to nations to empower them to take targeted action and then built general public.