The amount of gas flared worldwide rose in 2023 by nine billion cubic metres (bcm) to 148 bcm, its highest level since 2019.

The increase resulted in an additional 23 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, an amount similar to adding about five million cars to the roads, finds new satellite data compiled by the World Bank's Global Flaring and Methane Reduction (GFMR) Partnership, a WAM report said.

“Millions of people still lack access to basic energy and greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow, while huge volumes of gas continue to be wastefully flared every year,” said Demetrios Papathanasiou, World Bank Global Director for the Energy and Extractives Global Practice.

Harmful pollutants

“Capturing and using this wasted gas could displace dirtier energy sources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and generate enough power to double the amount of electricity provided in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Gas flaring releases harmful pollutants, including black carbon and unburnt methane, which contribute to climate change and pose risks to both people and the planet. Eliminating gas flaring would avert at least 381 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions being released into the atmosphere each year.

When productively used, wasted flared gas can help displace dirtier energy sources, increase energy access in some of the world's poorest countries, and provide many countries with much-needed energy security.


“The increase in gas flaring is particularly disheartening as it comes after a long-overdue reduction in 2022. This sets global gas flaring levels back to what we experienced in 2019. We’re hopeful that this is somewhat of an anomaly and the longer-term trend will be dramatic reductions,” said Zubin Bamji, World Bank GFMR Manager.

The World Bank's annual Global Gas Flaring Tracker Report is a tool for monitoring and understanding the state of flaring worldwide and the progress made towards achieving Zero Routine Flaring by 2030.-

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