API and energy industry seek to partner to reduce GHG emissions as scientists sound the alarm

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Overcoming the impacts of climate change remains “the global challenge of our time,” an oil and gas industry spokesperson said on Tuesday.

American Petroleum Institute (API) spokesperson Bethany Aronhalt told NGI that the oil and gas industry is working to tackle rising greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), created by the United Nations (UN), released on Monday a disastrous assessment of the state of the planet. The compilation overseen by 234 scientific experts made it clear that human-made GHG emissions pose an existential threat to Earth. Scientists have drawn on decades of weather observations, computer modeling and geological records.

“Unless we achieve immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to 1.5 ° C will be out of reach,” said IPCC Vice Chairman Ko Barrett. She is also an Associate Assistant Administrator for Research at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Each warming will intensify the impacts that we are likely to see.”

If the Earth were to warm more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the consequences could be enormous. Experts predicted that the Greenland ice sheet could collapse, with a rise of more than six feet in sea level. Coral reefs could disappear.

Humanity’s influence on the climate is “overwhelming,” the scientists said. It is no longer a scientific hypothesis but an “established fact”.

The panel made no policy recommendations. However, experts have said that the consumption of fossil fuels is one of the main reasons for the increase in GHG emissions.

Top Industry Priorities

The oil and gas industry is responding, Aronhalt said.

“Meeting the world’s growing energy needs while addressing the risks of climate change is the global challenge of our time, a challenge that governments and industries must tackle together,” she said.

“As populations grow and economies develop, the world will continue to need solutions that ensure access to affordable and reliable energy that modern life depends on and at the same time accelerate emissions reductions and improve environmental performance. “

Achieving a low-carbon future, said Aronhalt, “will require new approaches, new policies and continuous innovation, and our industry will continue to lead the way in further mitigating emissions from operations, advancing cleaner fuels. , investing in revolutionary technologies and advocating for the market for solutions based on carbon pricing.

Reducing methane emissions and tackling the risks of climate change “are top priorities for our industry,” said Aronhalt. Methane emission rates in the United States “have fallen by almost 70% in major producing regions over the past decade. We have more work to do.

The energy industry “will continue to lead the way by implementing new technologies, improving monitoring and taking action through initiatives such as the Environmental Partnership”, which was launched in 2017.

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API is also poised to work with policy makers “to leverage industry progress in reducing emissions by advancing innovation and direct regulation of methane for new and existing sources along the chain. supply ”.

The Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO) also weighed in on the IPCC report. The group told NGI that the energy industry has led efforts to reduce GHG emissions by reducing flaring. Initiatives are also underway, particularly for carbon capture, storage and use.

“The U.S. Oil and Natural Gas Industry Continues to Lead Efforts to Reduce Energy Emissions Through Innovation, Collaboration, and More Than $ 300 Billion in Mitigation Technologies greenhouse over the past two decades along the value chain, ”said TIPRO President Ed Longanecker. “Over the past 20 years, Texas-led innovation has enabled producers to meet record energy demand while reducing the greenhouse gas intensity of oil and gas.

Liquefied natural gas produced in the state “also helps reduce emissions at home and abroad,” he noted. In addition, the Railroad Commission of Texas recently reported a “massive drop in flaring – of over 70% – between 2019 and 2021 … Additionally, the intensity of methane in the Permian Basin has declined by over 70% over the course of for the past eight years.

“Nationally, methane emissions from US power generation declined 17% between 1990 and 2019,” while oil production is 66% higher and natural gas production is increasing. 96% increase, Longanecker said.

“The world will continue to need this precious commodity for decades to come, and the US oil and gas industry stands ready to meet this demand.”

Phasing out fossil fuels?

While the IPCC report offered no policy recommendations, it assessed what it would take to limit the consequences of global warming.

In the best-case scenario, the world would phase out fossil fuels, embrace alternative energy resources, and reinvent the way people work, eat and travel.

“The impacts of the climate crisis, from extreme heat and forest fires to heavy rains and flooding, will only intensify unless we choose another path for ourselves and the generations to come. “White House climate envoy John Kerry said. “What the world needs now is real action.”

Hurricane Harvey, which hit south Texas in August 2017 as a Category 4 storm, was the strongest to hit the state since Carla in 1961. For days, high winds and heavy winds Catastrophic rainfall has wreaked havoc all along the Gulf Coast, moving oil and natural gas systems far inland.

In coastal areas, experts predicted that sea level would rise “throughout the 21st century, contributing to more frequent and severe coastal flooding in low-lying areas and coastal erosion. Extreme sea level events that previously occurred once every 100 years could occur every year by the end of this century. “

In cities, climate change could be magnified, as urban areas are often warmer than their surroundings.

“Code Red for Humanity”

UN Secretary General António Guterres said the report was “a code red for humanity”. The world, he said, must find ways to limit GHG warming as much as possible. “We owe it to the whole human family. There is no time for delays and no room for apologies.

It’s not just a change in temperature that worries scientists. Climate change “is bringing about multiple different changes in different regions, all of which will increase with warming,” the researchers said. “These include changes in humidity and drought, winds, snow and ice, coastal areas and oceans. “

The water cycle is changing, resulting in “more intense rainfall and associated flooding, as well as more intense drought in many areas.” Precipitation patterns were changed, with precipitation in high latitudes likely to increase, while subtropics would have less rain.

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats also unveiled a $ 3.5 trillion budget resolution on Monday focused on ways to tackle GHG emissions. The resolution provides a sort of roadmap for Senate and House committees to include climate change priorities in the future reconciliation package.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, chaired by Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia, would be tasked with drafting a standard focused on “clean” electricity.

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