Thyssengas GmbH, Germany's second largest pipeline operator, has received the Gold Standard by the International Methane Emissions Observatory (IMEO) of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) for developing a credible plan for incorporating actual measurements of methane gas emissions. The Gold Standard is granted initially for the thoroughness of a company's plan and later for the results delivered.
Dr. Thomas Gößmann, CEO of Thyssengas, said the award is recognition of the company's efforts to reduce methane gas emissions. At the same time, he added, "it's an incentive to further reduce the level of methane emissions. And against this backdrop we will not let up, we will continue to improve our processes in the area of measurement and performance maintenance.
Curbing methane emissions from fossil fuels matters, says UNEP, and it matters under any plausible decarbonization scenario. UNEP is championing a rapid transition away from fossil fuels. And while the transition proceeds, it is stressing the overriding significance of curbing methane emissions, particularly those escaping from methane gas transmission pipelines and storage facilities.
According to the UNEP Executive Summary of the first year of the IMEO, "most companies put significant effort into reporting. Generally companies submitted agreed-upon templates, including reduction targets and provided an inventory of assets both operated and non-operated."
The IMEO serves as an independent and trusted entity to integrate data from multiple sources, such as companies, satellites, scientific studies and national inventories. Using scientific
insights, IMEO will integrate these multiple sources of heterogeneous data into a coherent and policy relevant dataset that highlights the confidence of each data element.
UNEP emphasizes that no individual component can deliver the required change by itself. Better data, the Executive Summary states, does not deliver change by itself and better regulation alone cannot deliver everything needed. While each of these is required, it is the interaction between them -- allowing them to build on each other -- that drives change and delivers results. And, in what is tantamount to an appeal to other companies to participate in the work of the IMEO, UNEP admonishes that it is "crucially not IMEO by itself that will deliver emissions reductions."
IMEO builds on the important methane work of Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), Global Methane Initiative (GMI), International Energy Agency (IEA), Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and many others, and it looks forward to continuing this collaboration.