Global Methane Pledge:
Policy and Industry Lobbying One Year On

Analysis shows strong corporate push back since COP26

November 09 2022

Only a small number of jurisdictions have formally introduced policies aimed at reducing methane emissions in the year since the Global Methane Pledge was announced, with new analysis by climate think tank InfluenceMap showing strong industry pushback to those plans.

As world leaders meet for COP27, InfluenceMap is launching a new website to track corporate engagement on methane policy as it relates to two key industries that are the largest producers of anthropogenic methane emissions – the oil and gas sector and the agricultural sector.

It shows there remains a large gap between voluntary pledges and countries that have introduced policies to reduce methane emissions, especially when it comes to the agricultural sector. The website will be continuously updated as more countries formally introduce methane regulations.

It includes a policy tracker to show how corporations and their trade groups are lobbying on individual policies, such as the EU’s Methane Regulation for the energy sector and the US EPA’s Methane Regulations.

The website also includes a narrative tracker which highlights the most frequently used arguments put forward by these sectors in lobbying against methane policy.

The data shows:

• In both the United States and the European Union, the majority of corporate engagement on methane regulation has either been unsupportive or outright oppositional. This is particularly noticeable on the methane emissions charge within the Inflation Reduction Act.

• Several European oil and gas industry players have successfully lobbied against the inclusion of imported fossil fuels in the EU’s Methane Regulation for the energy sector, despite more than 90% of the EU’s fossil gas consumption coming from imports and the EU Parliament ENVI Committee calling for imports to be included.

• Negative lobbying on the EPA’s Methane Regulations in the United States has been dominated by both cross-sector and fossil fuel-sector industry associations, including the American Petroleum Institute (API), the American Gas Association (AGA), and the US Chamber of Commerce (USC). All of these groups have challenged the EPA’s legal authority to regulate methane emissions under the Clean Air Act.

• When it comes to specific narratives, the oil and gas sector has used two key tactics in pushing back against methane regulations: by arguing that regulation would negatively impact energy security, and by promoting fossil gas (a key source of methane) as a cleaner or ‘low-carbon’ energy source.

• A key element of the agriculture sector’s strategy appears to be to divert attention towards methane emissions from the fossil fuel sector instead. The analysis shows it has also deployed two other key arguments in pushing back against regulation: that methane emissions in the farm sector are ‘natural’, and that the industry is making its own efficiency improvements.

The analysis is based on the IPCC’s call for “strong, rapid and sustained reductions” in methane emissions to reach the 1.5°C warming target and Paris Agreement Goals.

InfluenceMap Senior Analyst, Vivek Parekh, said: “This research pulls together hundreds of pieces of evidence to draw out the common threads on how the industry is lobbying on specific policies and the arguments being used.

“Many of the companies involved in this lobbying effort are the same companies that have made public comments about the need to reduce methane emissions.

“What’s also noteworthy is that many of the industry groups - particularly in the US - have been far more aggressive in undermining regulatory efforts.

“Given the strong industry pushback against methane regulations in Europe and the United States, it’s not particularly surprising that other jurisdictions have so far been slow to follow suit with their own policy proposals.

“As more countries prepare to announce methane regulations, this research gives an indication of the arguments and lobbying intensity that policymakers can expect from the corporate sector.”

Click here for the full report

For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Simon Cullen, Communications Manager, InfluenceMap (London) E: simon.cullen {@}