The Methane to Markets Partnership Update
Issue 21, October 2010
In this edition:
- U.S. Pledges $50 Million to New Global Methane Initiative During the Second Ministerial Meeting
- Steering Committee Welcomes New Partner Countries and Approves Terms of Reference
- Project Network Membership Continues to Grow
- Coal Mine Subcommittee Meets in China
- Reminder: Upcoming Methane to Markets Subcommittee Meetings
- Recent Developments
U.S. Pledges $50 Million to New Global Methane Initiative During the Second Ministerial Meeting
On 1 October 2010, at the second Methane to Markets Ministerial meeting in Mexico City, Mexico, more than 65 participants from 19 countries as well as representatives from the European Commission, Asian Development Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank, unanimously approved the new Global Methane Initiative (GMI) (PDF, 2 pp., 234 KB). Hosted by Mexico's Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) , the Ministerial delegation announced this new initiative, urging stronger international action to address near-term climate change. GMI will build on the existing structure and success of the Methane to Markets Partnership, while enhancing and expanding its efforts and encouraging new financial commitments from developed country partners.
The United States is pledging $50 million over the next five years to GMI to support the implementation of methane emissions reduction projects and technologies with the hope that developed country partners will follow suit with similar pledges. GMI will take the place of Methane to Markets and the Partnership's materials will reflect this transition over the coming months. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson commented that "through this growing partnership, we can convert this harmful pollutant into clean energy and create new economic prospects for people around the world. I'm looking forward to working with our global partners to reduce pollution, strengthen clean energy innovations and make our planet healthier, stronger, and more prosperous for future generations."
During the Ministerial meeting, Secretary Juan R. Elvira Quesada of SEMARNAT delivered welcoming remarks, and Dr. Adrián Fernández Bremauntz, President of Mexico's National Institute of Ecology , presented on methane's impact on climate change. Gina McCarthy, Chair of the Steering Committee and Assistant Administrator at U.S. EPA, provided an update on the outcomes from the Steering Committee. Dina Kruger, Director of U.S. EPA's Climate Change Division , highlighted the Partnership's accomplishments over the last six years.
Delegates were invited to attend the Global Resources Energy and Environmental Network , or "GREEN Expo," as part of the Ministerial meeting program. The Expo provided a large forum for visitors to gather information about technologies and sustainable practices related to environmental issues such as climate change, and network with other professionals.
The meeting culminated with the Ministerial Declaration (PDF, 2 pp., 20 KB) where both Partner Countries and participating multilateral development bank representatives recognized the success of the Methane to Markets Partnership and realized the need to expand and enhance efforts by re-launching the Partnership as the new GMI.
Steering Committee Welcomes New Partner Countries and Approves Terms of Reference
The Methane to Markets Steering Committee met in Mexico City, Mexico, on 30 September 2010, preceding the Ministerial meeting. Delegates welcomed new Partner Countries, Nicaragua and Turkey (see sidebar), and discussed the revised Terms of Reference (TOR), charges to Subcommittees, Expo results, and plans for the next Steering Committee meeting. Steering Committee chair Gina McCarthy oversaw the event and provided a recap of the progress and future goals before adjourning.
Project Network Membership Continues to Grow
The Partnership's Project Network has continued to grow and now includes more than 1,000 private companies, financial institutions, non-profit organizations, and research organizations. These Project Network members are generating more opportunities for Partners to pursue capacity building, technology demonstrations, market development, and financing across all sectors.
To highlight active Project Network members and their projects, the Partnership is posting new Project Network spotlights on its website under the "organization" tab. Currently in the spotlight is Project Network member Caterpillar, a U.S.-based equipment manufacturer, which has been an active member of the Methane to Markets Project Network since 2005. A year after joining the Project Network, Caterpillar was awarded a $58 million contract to supply all the power generation equipment to the Sihe Mine in Shanxi Province, China, where the world's largest power plant fueled by coal mine methane (CMM) is sited. In the agricultural sector, anaerobic digesters coupled with Caterpillar generators are being used to produce biogas. In the landfill sector, Caterpillar has assisted with installations at numerous projects, such as the Bandeirantes Landfill in São Paulo, Brazil, where the U.S. EPA conducted an assessment of the landfill.
Coal Mine Subcommittee Meets in China
On 21 October 2010, the Coal Mines Subcommittee met in Beijing, China. More than 20 people, representing 10 countries, were present. Coal Mines Subcommittee Co-Chairs, Pamela Franklin from the U.S. EPA and Huang Shengchu from the China Coal Information Institute (CCII) , and acting Co-Chair P.R. Mandal from India's Ministry of Coal , delivered opening statements. Ms. Franklin updated the participants on behalf of the Administrative Support Group (ASG) on the outcomes from the Partnership Steering Committee meeting and Ministerial Meeting and discussions surrounding the new TOR. Partner Countries as well as a handful of Project Network members also provided updates on their activities. The Subcommittee also discussed the role of methane abatement in the coal sector, the development of country-specific action plans, and the Subcommittee's leadership.
The Subcommittee meeting was held in conjunction with CCII's 10th International Symposium on Coalbed Methane (CBM)/CMM . The symposium featured such topics as the potential of CBM/CMM projects in China, opportunities and challenges for CBM industrialization in China, and new technologies and application of CBM development.
Reminder: Upcoming Methane to Markets Subcommittee Meetings
Two subcommittee meetings and a meeting of the waste water sector task force will be taking place in the near future. Mark your calendars!
The Agriculture and Landfill Subcommittees will meet jointly on 11 and 12 November 2010 in Venice, Italy. Both Subcommittees will discuss outcomes of the Methane to Markets Ministerial meeting and direction provided by the Steering Committee, which met concurrently with the Ministerial meeting. The Waste Water Task force will meet concurrently with the Landfill and Agriculture Subcommittee and focus on how best to fit wastewater into the Partnership. The wastewater discussion is scheduled to enable attendance by both landfill and agriculture Subcommittee delegates. Subcommittee members from both sectors are encouraged to participate.
The Oil and Gas Subcommittee will meet on 3 November 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana, in conjunction with U.S. EPA's Natural Gas STAR Annual Implementation Workshop . The Subcommittee will focus on country-specific action plans, Subcommittee leadership, and outcomes from the October Ministerial meeting. Register here for the Subcommittee meeting.
- First Biogas System Becomes Operational in Ukraine. In July 2010, BusinessGreen published an article entitled, "4,000 Ukrainian Cows Power Country's First Biogas Plant," describing Ukraine's first biogas system. The article reports that the Ukrainian Milk Company Ltd., located near Kiev, Ukraine, began using cow manure to produce energy at the country's first biogas cogeneration plant. The cow manure helps produce 625 kilowatts (kW) of electricity and 686 kW of thermal output. Energy not used directly by the plant is sold to the grid under Ukraine's green tariff, a special rate for electricity generated at power plants using alternative energy sources. The facility is also the first in the country to deploy the Jenbacher Gas Engine, manufactured by Project Network member General Electric, specifically designed for cogeneration.
- Mexico Cuts Greenhouse Gases. In August, Mexico reported cutting greenhouse emissions by 19.5 million tons in the last two years. One way these reductions were achieved was through government programs aimed at "greening" Mexico's agricultural activities, which included reducing the use of fertilizers. Mexico has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 million tons a year by December 2012.
- U.S. EPA's Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) Develops New Colombia Landfill Gas (LFG) Model. LMOP has developed a new LFG model for Colombia . The model is used to estimate LFG generation rates from landfills and potential LFG recovery rates for landfills that have, or plan to have, gas collection and control systems in Colombia. In September 2010, LMOP also held a workshop in Medellin, Colombia, to train people to use the new model. Approximately 60 professionals from federal, state and local governments, waste management companies, consultants, developers, and students participated in the event.
- U.S. EPA's Natural Gas STAR Newsletter Features Chile's National Petroleum Company. U.S. EPA's Natural Gas STAR recently featured an article on the National Petroleum Company of Chile, ENAP (Empresa Nacional del Petróleo) , a multinational company focused on exploration, production, and refining of hydrocarbons. As a Natural Gas STAR International Partner, ENAP took advantage of the program's resources and pursued activities to better understand methane emissions from its facilities. ENAP collaborated with U.S. EPA's Natural Gas STAR to conduct methane emissions pre-feasibility analyses for sixteen facilities and carried out a methane emissions field study program at seven facilities. ENAP is using the results of these efforts to develop methane emissions reduction projects.
- Save the Date for the 16th Conference of the Parties. On 29 November to 10 December 2010, the 16th Conference of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol will meet in Cancun, Mexico. The meeting continues the international negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. GMI will be highlighted at Cancun in a side-event hosted by Mexico.