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The European Commission Joins Methane to Markets

Release Date: 09/24/2007
Contact Information: Dave Ryan, (202) 564-4355 / ryan.dave@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. - Sept. 24, 2007) The Methane to Markets Partnership marked a major milestone this week as the European Commission became its 21st partner. Methane to Markets is a public-private partnership that reduces greenhouse gas emissions by promoting the cost-effective, near-term recovery and use of methane, while providing clean energy to markets around the world. The addition of the EC will provide additional expertise and resources to advance methane capture and use in Europe and other partner countries.

“The Bush Administration appreciates that the challenge of global climate change is exactly that – global. By working with our European neighbors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the Methane to Markets Partnership, we are moving together toward a cleaner, healthier, more productive world,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson.

The EC is the first multi-country entity to join Methane to Markets. Four EC member countries (Germany, Italy, Poland, and the United Kingdom) are already members of the partnership. In the coal sector, the EC will be able to provide more than 50 years of European Union experience in targeting methane emissions from coal mines.

The European Commission intends initially to focus its activities within the partnership on working to reduce methane emissions from the coal sector and the oil and gas sector. Andris Piebalgs, EC Commissioner for Energy, said, “The European Commission looks forward to collaborating within the Methane to Markets Partnership to further our joint goals of reducing climate change by utilizing the EU’s existing capacities in methane capture and use technologies.”

The Methane to Markets Partnership, launched by President Bush in November 2004, currently focuses on four sources of methane emissions: animal waste management, coal mines, landfills and oil and gas systems. Member countries work in collaboration with over 600 project network members from the private sector, multilateral development banks, and other governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Methane is a greenhouse gas that is over 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. By 2015, Methane to Markets has the potential to deliver annual reductions in methane emissions of up to 50 million metric tons of carbon equivalent, which is roughly equal to the greenhouse gas emissions from 50 500-megawatt coal-fired power plants.

The EC is the European Union’s executive branch.

In addition to the EC, Methane to Markets partners include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam.

Information about Methane to Markets: epa.gov/methanetomarkets