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For gas, which is itself predominantly methane, emissions occur throughout the entire supply chain, including extraction, processing, liquefaction, transmission, storage and distribution.

For oil and coal, methane emissions occur primarily at or around the oil pad or coal mine during extraction and processing. Fossil gas used in petrochemicals to produce plastic is also an important source of methane emissions. The fossil fuel sector offers the most cost-effective mitigation potential, with up to 80 per cent of measures in oil and gas and 98 per cent in coal being low or negative cost. Reductions are all the more important as a recent IEA analysis suggests that global methane emissions from the energy sector are around 70 per cent higher than officially reported by national governments.1

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Other Main Sources of Methane Emission

The agricultural sector is responsible for around 54 per cent of all man-made methane emissions in the EU. There are already a number of cost-effective and immediately implementable solutions to reduce emissions. These include switching to a healthier and more sustainable diet, as well as reduced and improved consumption of meat and dairy products and technical measures in livestock farming.

The waste sector is the second largest source of anthropogenic methane emissions in the EU and contributes to around 27 per cent of all such emissions. The main strategies to reduce solid waste emissions are reduction, source separation and treatment of organic waste.