UNEP reaches methane agreement to monitor energy companies

energy companies emissions

The United Nations Environment Programme has reached an agreement which will see data supplied by environmental intelligence company Kayrros for its International Methane Emissions Observatory initiative, designed to monitor emissions from energy companies and dramatically reduce the concentration of methane in the atmosphere.

UNEP IMEO, which was launched at the G20 Summit in 2021, is set to transform the conventional approach to methane reduction by combining a wealth of verified third-party data with action on research, reporting and implementation.

Kayrros, which brings extensive experience and expertise in geoanalytics, AI, and satellite imaging, will contribute to advance UNEP’s goal of building a science-based global dataset of empirically verified methane emissions at an increasing level of accuracy and granularity. The data will help companies and national regulators reduce methane emissions at a rate never before seen. 

In 2023, Kayrros and UNEP’s IMEO will collaborate with leading scientists to push the capabilities of satellite monitoring and provide new insights to support climate action through methane mitigation in the framework of the Methane Alert and Response System (MARS), launched by UNEP at COP27 in collaboration with the International Energy Agency and the UNEP-hosted Climate and Clean Air Coalition. 

At COP28, UNEP will present an update on the use of satellites to reduce large methane emissions sources on the planet and how satellite technology can help achieve the goals of the Global Methane Pledge. This update will build on the results of the collaboration with Kayrros.

MARS, which will rely in part on Kayrros detections and measurements, is the first publicly available global system capable of transparently connecting methane detection to notification processes.

“Kayrros’ technology brings unique capabilities. We are pleased to have their technology support UNEP’s Methane Alert and Response System (MARS) and help us advance our mission to reduce methane emissions and meet the aims of the Global Methane Pledge,” said Manfredi Caltagirone, head of IMEO.

“The Global Methane Pledge is key to delivering the greenhouse gas cuts needed to avert the worst effects of climate change,” said Antoine Rostand, co-founder and president of Kayrros. “Kayrros is pleased to become a key data provider to IMEO to help it execute its mission, and grateful for the generous support of the Global Methane Hub. The collaboration thus made possible will bring great benefit for climate and humankind, and we are proud to be playing our part in providing actionable solutions for global climate action.”

The data supplied by the Kayrros Methane Watch platform will allow for increasingly detailed analysis of reported methane emissions from oil, gas and coal (both thermal and metallurgical) extraction around the world.

Much of the prevalent data until now had been drawn from generic emissions factor-based calculations, often done by companies in-house, which have been shown to underestimate measured methane emission levels by some distance.

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