As You Sow Releases New Report on Reducing End of the Line Natural Gas Emissions
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contacts: Cyrus Nemati, (510) 735-8157, [email protected]
Oakland, California – July 12, 2018 – Shareholder advocate As You Sow today released a report outlining how natural gas providers can reduce methane emissions from their distribution systems, an often overlooked segment of the natural gas supply chain. The End of the Line focuses on natural gas suppliers that commonly contribute to methane leaks, but are rarely held accountable.
In recent years, public and investor pressure has focused on upstream oil and gas methane management by large producers including Exxon and Chevron, successfully moving such companies to reduce releases from their production systems. Methane, a potent climate forcer with approximately 86 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period, is the main component of natural gas. While companies across the supply chain boast the climate benefits of natural gas over dirtier, high-carbon sources like coal, uncontrolled methane releases call into question that benefit. Recent studies show methane emissions associated with the natural gas supply chain may be worse than previously thought. Growing investor concern over methane has helped to highlight the importance and effectiveness of pressing companies to reduce these emissions. For example, following As You Sow’s filing of a methane resolution at Exxon (which received a nearly 40% vote), the company announced measures to reduce its methane emissions and, recently, announced the adoption of a quantitative methane reduction target.
While most shareholder actions on methane have focused on upstream production, As You Sow’s report brings overdue attention to the end of the line suppliers. “The climate and reputational risks utilities face over methane can be alarming,” stated Lila Holzman, Energy Program Manager at As You Sow. “A mere 3% loss of methane across the supply chain makes the use of natural gas worse for climate than coal. Since many utility companies are banking on increased reliance on gas in their future energy portfolios to meet climate goals, they must be held to standards that ensure methane emissions are being well managed.”
The End of the Line report provides investors with much-needed insight into methane challenges in the distribution sector. It sheds light on specific disclosures companies must make, practices they should implement, and where significant risks remain. The report also identifies companies that are proactively responding.
As You Sow is a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies. See our resolutions here.