How Can COP26 Commit to Tackling Methane Pollution?


Cutting methane is arguably one of our last low hanging fruit when it comes to tackling climate change. There are signs that real progress can be made if governments and industry commit to ambitious targets and practical solutions. Currently available measures to reduce methane emissions would avoid 0.3 degrees C of global warming by the 2040s. In the US, states such as Colorado and Pennsylvania are issuing regulations for methane from the oil and gas sector. The European Union, Canada, Nigeria, Mexico and Ecuador have all made steps towards methane legislation in recent years. Measures such as leak detection, repair inspection and continuous monitoring could prevent the largest source of methane emissions in the oil and gas system: leaks. Similarly, capturing emissions from compressors and dehydrators and minimising waste produced by equipment maintenance are relatively simple steps that can have a significant positive effect. What does the future look like for the oil and gas sector and what should be done to minimise methane emissions?

This online round table discussion will cover the above and questions including:

  • How can policymakers and industry work together, both nationally and internationally, to limit methane pollution?
  • What regulation is required to minimise the impact of methane emissions from the oil and gas sector on the climate?
  • How can COP26 commit to cleaning up our air and reducing the impact of methane on our climate?
  • Should methane be given priority on our climate change agenda?

This online roundtable is hosted by New Statesman and sponsored by Clean Air Task Force.


  • Philippa Nuttall Jones (Chair), Environment and Sustainability Editor, New Statesman
  • Rick Duke, Senior Director and White House Liaison for the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate USA
  • Martin Hojsik MEP, Shadow Rapporteur on Methane Strategy; Member, Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, European Parliament
  • Brendan Devlin, Strategy and Foresight Advisor, Directorate General for Energy, European Commission Professor
  • Piers Forster, Director, Priestley Centre for Climate Professor
  • Drew Shindell, Nicholas Professor of Earth Science, Duke University
  • Sarah Smith, Program Director, Super Pollutants, Clean Air Task Force
Pollutants (SLCPs)