The seminar organized within the framework of the 2018 Global Methane Forum was delivered jointly by the UNECE Groups of Experts on Coal Mine Methane and on Cleaner Electricity Production in cooperation with the Global Methane Initiative.
The four-hour-long thought-provoking seminar opened with presentations and closed with a panel discussion focusing on opportunities to reduce emissions at each step along the coal value chain from upstream extraction, through transportation and consumption.
It approached the issue of methane in the coal industry from various perspectives, and explored a potential for reducing emissions along the whole life cycle of coal and power production.
The first part of the session focused on current issues that impact capturing and abating coal mine methane emissions through implementation of projects that contribute to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It featured a number of technical presentations touching upon such subject matters as pre-mine drainage, CMM project development, effective capture, use, and abatement of CMM, AMM, VAM, and SMM.
The second part was organized in a form of a panel discussion, the aim of which was to explore the opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a well-established value chain that encompasses coal production, transportation, and its end use. It was observed that the United Nations Member States and industry could employ technology, provide investment, and evaluate and implement effective policies to leverage these opportunities. Emissions of methane can be reduced in upstream extractive operations while emissions of carbon dioxide can be reduced during downstream end use. The potential to coordinate greenhouse gas emission reductions throughout the value chain presents an unprecedented opportunity to set standards that can have immediate and positive impacts.
The panel was conceived as a forum for direct and open dialog about accomplishments that have been realized and barriers that need to be overcome to achieve greater emissions reductions.
The discussion centered on four topics:
- Issues that must be addressed in order to mitigate emissions of methane and CO2 within the upstream life cycle of coal extraction;
- Mitigation of GHGs emitted during transport and during downstream use of coal and co-located gas and gas products;
- Country-specific policy issues and initiatives that are, or should be considered to overcome bottlenecks or barriers that prevent mitigation of emissions along the coal value chain;
- Overall best practice policies that could be applied to disrupt business as usual and promote innovation and greater emissions reductions.
The discussion was followed by a brief Q&A session engaging the audience.