The End of the Line

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Methane emissions across the natural gas supply chain are a major climate concern. This paper focuses on the practices that natural gas distribution companies – the entities at the end of the natural gas supply line – can implement to reduce methane emissions.

Natural gas, comprised mostly of methane, is undisputedly the cleanest-burning fossil fuel. As such, it is often promoted as a bridge fuel to help transition the global economy to a lower carbon future. However, to the extent methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas, is released directly into the atmosphere without being burned – whether through venting, planned releases, or through fugitive emissions across the supply line – the climate change impact is high.

Rising concern over fugitive methane emissions is beginning to influence and improve companies’ methane-related practices, but methane releases remain alarmingly prevalent. Since the climate benefit of natural gas over coal is dependent on ensuring that only a small percentage of natural gas (widely accepted as 3.2% of total volume or less) is lost to the atmosphere across the entire supply chain, tracking and instituting measures to reduce methane emissions is vital.

Following the maxim of “what gets measured, gets managed,” The End of the Line provides a set of benchmarks to assist investors in identifying companies’ best management practices to reduce methane leakage.

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