At its 18th session, the Group of Experts continued its work to promote the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from coal mines through activities that help the recovery and use of methane in order to reduce the risks of explosions in coal mines, mitigate climate change, and support sustainable development. The Group of Experts also discussed the best strategies for preparing and delivering green transformation of the coal mining regions in accordance with the principles of just transition.
The session started with the report by the secretariat on the recent activities of the Committee on Sustainable Energy, giving special focus to the Committee’s work on building resilient energy systems in the ECE region.
The Group of Experts then provided a status of implementation of its 2022-2023 Work Plan, presenting the delivered events, as well as the completed and ongoing studies. It also reviewed the annual reports received from the International Centres of Excellence on CMM (ICE-CMM) in Poland and China and discuss its own Work Plan for 2024-2025. In that context, the Group of Experts addressed the modalities of its future operations and discuss the new arrangement of the Group into three taskforces: on methane emissions, just transitions, and safe operation and closure of coal mines, addressing the issues related to their respective focus, tasks, and membership.
Turning attention to just transition, the Group of Experts evaluated the relevant work that has been done so far by the Group of Experts, as well as by other actors operating in that field, and discussed future activities that it should undertake to best serve ECE member States that are undergoing the process of transformation of their energy sectors. In addition, the Group considered best strategies for engagement with the youth, which is necessary to attract the young generation of professionals to actively engage in shaping the future of the coal mining regions and their local industries.
The Group of Experts then listened to presentations on relevant activities of its key partners operating in the field of monitoring and abatement of methane emissions from the coal sector, and planed its 2024 session, exploring opportunities for delivering it within the framework of the Global Methane Forum that it will help to organize in Geneva.
The session also featured the first part of the thirteenth joint meeting of the Group of Experts and the Global Methane Initiative (GMI) Coal Subcommittee, which continued on Wednesday, 22 March in room XXV and virtually.