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EU agrees law to hit fossil fuel imports with methane emissions limit

The European Union reached a deal early Wednesday on a law to place methane emissions limits on Europe’s oil and gas imports from 2030, pressuring international suppliers to clamp down on leaks of the potent greenhouse gas.

After all-night talks, negotiators from EU member states and the European Parliament agreed to a law which from 2030 will require importers of crude oil, gas and coal into Europe to prove those fuels meet a methane intensity limit.

The law will now be put to the European Parliament and EU countries for final approval. That step is usually a formality that waves through pre-agreed deals.

“Equivalent monitoring, reporting and verification measures should be applied by exporters to the EU by 1 January 2027, and maximum methane intensity values by 2030,” the EU Council said in a statement.

The regulation also introduces new requirements for the oil, gas and coal sectors to measure, report and verify methane emissions, the EU council said in a statement.

The deal obliges oil and gas producers in Europe to find and fix leaks of the potent greenhouse gas in their operations and also limits most cases of flaring and venting, when companies intentionally burn off or release unwanted methane into the atmosphere.

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