Examining Methane Management in the Climate Action Plans of Oil Producing African Nations

Methane is a potent GHG with a global warming potential 28 to 36 times higher than carbon dioxide. Therefore, targeted efforts to reduce methane emissions are imperative.

The energy sector contributes about 40% of anthropogenic emissions. Emissions have steadily increased over the past decade, and projections suggest a potential rise of 3% to 17% between 2020 and 2030 if robust reduction measures are not implemented.

The oil and gas sector constitutes about 62% of the methane emissions within the energy sector, primarily through venting, incomplete combustion of flared gas, and equipment and pipeline leaks. Given this substantial contribution, the sector is crucial in shaping methane emissions reduction efforts.

Beyond environmental benefits, mitigating methane emissions presents economic opportunities through gas commercialisation, offsetting implementation costs.

Africa’s oil and gas sector accounts for about 68% of methane emissions in the energy sector, with the potential for an increase due to anticipated industrial growth. This accentuates the critical need for heightened commitments to methane management in Africa’s oil and gas sector, particularly given the region’s vulnerability to climate change.

This study examines the role of methane management in the climate action plans of mature and frontier oil-producing African countries: Nigeria, Angola, Ghana, Mozambique, and Senegal. It identifies opportunities and barriers that support or impede actions on methane emission reduction in Africa. 

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