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Climate-changing methane emissions from oil and gas twice as high as thought: study

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WATCH (April 20): Speaking outside Rideau Cottage on Friday, Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau announced his government would be spending $750 million to reduce methane emissions. – Apr 17, 2020

A newly published study concludes that emissions of a potent greenhouse gas from oil and gas production are twice as high as previously thought.

The research by Environment Canada scientists says previous measurements weren’t accounting for all sources of methane, a climate-changing gas about 30 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.

Read more: Canada not on track to meet 2025 methane emissions target: report

Lead author Doug Worthy says methane estimates in Canada’s national inventory will have to be increased as a result of the findings.

The paper was published days after the federal government, Alberta and Saskatchewan signed agreements on reducing methane.

Read more: Federal government finalizes methane reduction deals with B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan

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Dale Marshall of the group Environmental Defence says those agreements weakened restrictions on the same methane sources the new research has uncovered.

Canada has said it will reduce methane emissions by 45 per cent in the next five years, but the government’s own estimates suggest it won’t reach that target.