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Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, 21 times as powerful as carbon dioxide in contributing to climate change on a ton-for-ton basis. Methane, along with other short-lived forcers such as black carbon and tropospheric ozone, could play an important role in addressing global climate change. This stems both from their overall effect on climate systems, and from their concentrated impact in the short term. Because reducing emissions of such short-lived pollutants may have a large near-term impact in slowing climate change, the United States and other countries have come together to cooperate under the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants, and other partnerships such as the Global Methane Initiative. For global impact, the success of such partnerships depends on their ability to scale up project-specific emission reductions.
This paper assesses options and challenges for scaling based on a case study of Russia's oil and gas sector. We examine the challenges to achieving far-reaching emission reductions, successes of companies to date, how Russia has sought to influence methane emissions through its environmental fine system, and options for helping companies achieve large-scale emission reductions in the future through simpler and clearer incentives.
Evans, M., & V. Roshchanka (2014) Russian policy on methane emissions in the oil and gas sector: A case study in opportunities and challenges in reducing short-lived forcers, Atmospheric Environment 92:199-20.