Study examines methane emissions reduction from oil and gas in North America

**Under EMBARGO until Monday, February 12, 8 a.m. EST, 1 p.m. GMT**

Atmospheric methane concentrations continue to increase globally, despite a pledge in 2016 from the leaders of the United States, Canada, and Mexico to reduce methane emissions from each country’s oil and gas sector. Additionally, the trilateral methane pledge faces more challenges as the Trump Administration seeks to reverse federal methane research and control efforts.
Yet this ambitious pledge is still achievable in the United States, according to a new article in Climate Policy co-authored by Dr. Sarah Marie Jordaan, Assistant Professor of Energy, Resources and Environment at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and Kate Konschnik, lead author and Director of the Climate and Energy Program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.
The researchers suggest that estimating emissions consistently across U.S. jurisdictions in support of a robust baseline will help the North American countries to achieve the goal by 2025, if coupled with science-based, economically sound policies to minimize methane leakage.
“It is critical — for both the development of the sector and the environment — that decision-makers in government and industry rely not only on politics and economics, but also scientific evidence,” Dr. Jordaan said. “We have developed a coherent framework that integrates science and policy to help decision-makers to do just that, in support of both economic and environmental goals.”
Konschnik noted that the climate benefits of using natural gas rather than coal to generate electricity evaporate if methane leakage across the natural gas value chain is too high. “Agencies and industry can tackle methane emissions more effectively by monitoring technological advances in this field, and generating data for future research,” she said.
The scholars surveyed efforts to estimate and mitigate methane emissions in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. They propose a North American Methane Reduction Framework to integrate public and private research and mitigation policies.
Jordaan and Konschnik are available to further discuss:

  • How can the three countries collaborate to integrate climate research and policies?
  • How do the findings differ for each country and jurisdiction? 
  • Can emissions reduction goals be met without political support of climate policy?
  • What are the long-term environmental benefits of curtailing emissions?

Read more: The final study, “Reducing Fugitive Methane Emissions from the North American Oil and Gas Sector: Proposing a Science-Policy Framework,” will be available on the Climate Policy website at 8 a.m. EST, 1 p.m. GMT, Monday, February 12 at:
Journalists seeking an advanced copy should contact one of the below media representatives.  
Media Contacts
Stacy A. Anderson
Communications Manager
Johns Hopkins SAIS
202.663.5620 office
202.853.7983 mobile
Erin McKenzie
Public Relations Specialist
The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
Duke University
919.613.3652 office
About Johns Hopkins SAIS
A division of Johns Hopkins University, the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) is a global institution that offers students an international perspective on today's critical issues. For nearly 75 years, Johns Hopkins SAIS has produced great leaders, thinkers, and practitioners of international relations. Public leaders and private sector executives alike seek the counsel of the faculty, whose ideas and research inform and shape policy. Johns Hopkins SAIS offers a global perspective across three campus locations: Bologna, Italy; Nanjing, China; and Washington, D.C. The school’s interdisciplinary curriculum is strongly rooted in the study of international economics, international relations, and regional studies, preparing students to address multifaceted challenges in the world today.
For more information, visit or @SAISHopkins
About The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University helps decision makers create timely, effective and economically practical solutions to the world’s critical environmental challenges. Through its six programs, the Nicholas Institute mobilizes objective, rigorous research to confront  the climate crisis, clarify the economics of limiting carbon pollution, harness emerging environmental markets, put the value of nature's benefits on the balance sheet, develop adaptive water management approaches, and identify other strategies to attain community resilience.
For more information, visit or @NichInstitute.

Monday, February 12, 2018