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Investor groups ask industry to cut methane emissions from unconventional plays

Three institutional investor groups issued a June 14 joint statement calling upon the oil and natural gas industry to reduce methane emissions from unconventional oil and gas development and production activities, citing concerns about hydraulic fracturing.

Representing over $20 trillion in assets, the joint request came from the North American Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), the European Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), and the Australia-New Zealand Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC).

The groups said they are working with industry and experts, in collaboration with the Carbon Disclosure Project, to develop an investor framework for disclosure to enable investors to evaluate companies’ progress in tackling methane leakage and reducing methane emissions.

INCR, IIGCC, and IGCC called upon industry and governments to minimize methane emissions, which could potentially accelerate climate change and increase long-term economic risk.

“As shareholders in oil and gas companies, investors are concerned with the regulatory and reputational risks associated with fugitive methane and the significant climate change concerns methane emissions raise,” the three investor groups said.

Under the framework being developed, the groups want companies to disclose their methane emissions and control plans and to implement best practices proven to effectively eliminate most methane emissions.

Consultation on the draft disclosure framework is under way, with a final version due for publication in October.

The statement from the investor groups followed publication of the International Energy Agency’s Golden Rules for a Golden Age of Gas and comes before the start of a United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, where fracing is among the issues expected to be discussed.

Mindy Lubber, director of the $10 trillion INCR, said industry leaders have demonstrated that methane emissions can be managed effectively.

“That is why investors will continue to work closely with the oil and gas industry and regulators to limit risks, increase efficiency, and mitigate environmental impact by reducing emissions of this powerful greenhouse gas,” Lubber said.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

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