Bent Svensson (202) 4157053
Mauricio Rios (202) 458-2458
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 23, 2006 — As world leaders gather in Washington, DC, for the World Bank-IMF Spring meetings to tackle issues such as the impact of climate change and the efficient use of clean energy, the Global Gas Flaring Reduction partnership estimates that over 150 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas are being flared and vented annually. That is the equivalent of the combined annual gas consumption of Germany and France. And the 40 bcm of gas flared in Africa is equivalent to half of the continent’s power consumption.
“Gas flaring wastes resources and harms the environment,” says Rashad Kaldany, Director of the Oil, Gas, Mining and Chemicals Department at the World Bank Group and Chairman of the GGFR Steering Committee, a public-private partnership of governments, state-owned companies and major international oil companies committed to reducing flaring and venting. “It also deprives developing country consumers of an energy source that is cleaner and often cheaper than others available. Using that gas rather than wasting it would stimulate economic development.”
Flaring or burning gas has a global impact on climate change by adding to greenhouse gas emissions. It is estimated that CO2 emissions from flaring are about 13% of committed emission reductions by developed countries under the Kyoto Protocol for the period 2008-2012.
The GGFR partnership facilitates and supports national efforts to use the associated gas and thus reduce flaring, by tackling the lack of effective regulatory frameworks and the constraints on gas utilization, such as insufficient infrastructure and poor access to local and international energy markets, particularly in developing countries.
“Reducing gas flaring requires a global and concerted effort by governments and industry, as well as financial institutions and local communities,” says Bent Svensson, manager of the GGFR. “Gas flaring reduction has been most successful where there is country buy-in, high-level support and an effective local partnership between government and industry.”
The GGFR work program, managed and facilitated by a World Bank team, focuses on four key areas to overcome the barriers to gas flaring reduction in partner countries: commercialization of associated gas; regulations for associated gas; implementation of the global flaring and venting reduction standard; capacity building to obtain carbon credits for flaring and venting reduction projects.
In July 2005, the G8 joint statement at Gleneagles, Scotland, called for GGFR to be extended beyond 2006. There is broad acceptance of the global flaring and venting Standard introduced by the partnership, and the collaborative approach it encourages.
Major flaring countries include: Nigeria, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Angola, Qatar, Algeria, Venezuela, Equatorial Guinea, Indonesia, Ecuador, Brazil, Mexico, the United States and the United Kingdom. Developing countries account for more than 85 percent of gas flaring and venting.