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Methane emissions from gas flaring being hidden from satellite monitors

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Investigations reveal that enclosed combustors, designed to cut methane emissions from oil and gas facilities, are hindering accurate satellite detection of greenhouse gases and pollutants
• Energy companies in countries including the US, UK, Germany, and Norway have adopted this technology, making satellite monitoring less effective

🔭 The context: Fossil fuel companies use flares to dispose of unprofitable natural gas, emitting CO2, toxic pollutants, and carcinogens
• The World Bank's Zero Routine Flaring 2030 initiative aimed to reduce flaring, but enclosed combustors, which hide the flame, have emerged, complicating satellite detection of emissions

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The obscured flares prevent satellite tools from tracking greenhouse gas emissions accurately, threatening global efforts to monitor and reduce pollution from the energy sector. This shift may undermine goals to curb climate change.

⏭️ What's next: The EU's methane legislation, set to phase out routine flaring, includes all flares, but enforcing this with enclosed flares poses challenges. Further reliance on self-reported data from oil and gas companies raises concerns.

💬 One quote: Tim Doty, a former Texas regulator, states, "Enclosed flaring is still flaring... It’s just different infrastructure that they’re allowing."

📈 One stat: Flaring decreased by 3% globally from 2021 to 2022, according to the World Bank.

Click for more news covering the latest on oil and gas


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