The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the final rules that will help in “sharply reducing methane and other harmful air pollutants from the oil and natural gas industry,” and promote the use of cutting-edge methane detection technologies, which will deliver significant economic and public health benefits.

This was announced by Administrator Michael S Regan and US President Joe Biden’s National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi at COP28, being held in Expo City Dubai.

EPA’s final rule aims to prevent an estimated 58 million tonnes of methane emissions from 2024 to 2038, the equivalent of 1.5 billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide – nearly as much as all the carbon dioxide emitted by the power sector in 2021.

In 2030 alone, the expected reductions are equivalent to 130 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide – more than the annual emissions from 28 million gasoline cars. The rule would achieve a nearly 80% reduction below the future methane emissions expected without the rule.

These reductions are greater than what was projected for the 2022 and 2021 proposals, thanks to changes that strengthen provisions to limit wasteful, polluting flaring of natural gas and analytical updates that better capture the impacts of this rulemaking.

(Writing by Bindu Rai; editing by Seban Scaria)