Global methane map to launch at COP28

An open-access Methane Map will be launched at COP28 in a bid to accelerate abatement of this greenhouse gas, considered second only to CO2 as a cause of global warming. Environmental intelligence company Kayrros will launch the live map, which draws insights from its flagship Methane Watch product.

Kayrros, recently named one of the world’s 100 Most Influential Companies by TIME, says it has played a major role in recent years in highlighting and correcting flaws in climate reporting and urging concrete action on methane emissions and so-called super-emitters in particular.

Earlier this year, it was part of a major expose on massive methane leaks in Turkmenistan, resulting in ongoing remediation talks between its government and representatives from the US. The company also detected giant plumes of methane in neighbouring Kazakhstan – plumes which had previously been dismissed as ‘hot vapour’.

With its new Methane Map, Kayrros says it aims to make climate data more accessible, giving governments, international institutions, investors, insurers and individuals the power to scrutinise and verify emissions data and expose ‘greenwashing’. Users will be able to gain insights at every level, from broad regional overviews down to specific facilities. Users can also access extensive inventories across different asset categories.

(Above) A country-level view of emissions (CLICK TO ENLARGE).

Antoine Rostand, President and co-founder of Kayrros, said that public pressure can force governments and companies to take the urgent action needed to prevent climate catastrophe.

“Open-access climate data has a huge role to play in the climate crisis by holding governments and businesses to account,” he said.

“To do that effectively, however, we need accurate, independent, empirical data. That’s what we’re providing with this new, freely available extension of our Methane Watch product.

“We intend to increase access to climate data and increase the basic knowledge and understanding of the harm methane does and of the failure of many governments and organisations to report their emissions of it accurately.

“Methane emissions can be addressed relatively easily. Doing so would have a huge impact. With COP28 on the horizon, and methane reduction as a key focus of the conference, we are taking advantage of increased public awareness of and interest in this devastating greenhouse gas.”

Recent studies undertaken by the firm include results showing there were twice as many methane super-emitter events detected per unit of production on the Texas side of the Permian basin as in New Mexico. The data also showed that only in Texas were there sites with chronic leaks – suggesting New Mexico’s landmark methane-reducing regulations, introduced in 2021, were having the intended effect.

The news came as Europe agreed major laws to curb methane emissions on EU gas imports – which will put pressure on fossil fuel suppliers in the US to cut leaks of the potent greenhouse gas.

The firm says its methodology and data quality have been endorsed in numerous peer-reviewed studies.

This year, the company called for an outright ban on super-emitters, arguing that it would be easy to achieve and relatively cheap. Kayrros added that rapid cuts in methane emissions from fossil fuels could lead to a reduction of 0.1°C in global temperature rise by mid-century – equivalent to the emissions impact of immediately taking all cars and trucks in the world off the road.

Data from Kayrros is now used by a number of global bodies, including the United Nations Environment Program’s International Methane Emissions Observatory.

Kayrros flagship product, Methane Watch, of which Methane Map is an offshoot, will continue to provide exclusive data and insights to the company’s clients.