In Washington: Mauricio Rios (202) 458-2458
In Paris: Steven Jouy 33 (0) 1 40 69 30 22
WASHINGTON, February 1, 2007— The World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction partnership (GGFR) today welcomed the government of France’s decision to join and support the efforts of oil producing countries and companies, through GGFR, in reducing gas flaring, increasing gas utilization, and mitigating the impact of climate change.
“Reducing gas flaring as part of oil production makes an important contribution towards mitigating climate change and increasing the utilization of a cleaner energy source," said Katherine Sierra, World Bank’s Vice President for Sustainable Development. “France’s support as a donor country to the World Bank's Global Gas Flaring Reduction partnership comes at a crucial time as we are stepping up our efforts to reduce gas flaring, and we hope more countries will follow France's example.”
The World Bank’s GGFR estimates that 150 billion cubic meters (or 5.3 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas are being flared and vented annually. That is equivalent to 25 per cent of the United States’ gas consumption or 30 per cent of the European Union’s gas consumption per year. It is also estimated that global gas flaring releases about 390 million tons of CO2 per year into the atmosphere. This is more than the potential annual emission reductions from projects currently submitted under the Kyoto mechanisms.
“In our efforts to support the international community achieve a more sustainable development by striking the right balance between economic growth and a healthy environment, the French government considers that it is crucial to support the World Bank’s GGFR work in mitigating climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from gas flaring,” said French Minister of Industry François Loos. “Moreover, reducing flaring will also help achieve more energy security by reducing the waste of associated gas which could be utilized by France and other countries.”
Last December during a Global Forum on Flaring Reduction and Gas Utilization organized by GGFR in Paris, the World Bank called on oil producing countries and companies to step up efforts in reducing the burning of natural gas as a way of mitigating the impact of climate change and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
The Global Gas Flaring Reduction is a public-private partnership of governments, state-owned companies and major international oil companies committed to reducing flaring and venting worldwide. Gas flaring not only wastes resources and harms the environment but also deprives consumers of an energy source that is cleaner and often cheaper than others available, and reduces potential tax revenue and trade opportunities.
The GGFR partnership facilitates and supports national efforts to use the associated gas that comes with oil production 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.
The GGFR work program focuses on four key areas to overcome the barriers to gas flaring reduction: 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.
The top 20 major flaring countries in the world include: Nigeria, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Angola, Qatar, Algeria, Venezuela, Equatorial Guinea, Indonesia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Libya, Equatorial Guinea, Brazil, Mexico, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.