Reducing methane emissions for a strong and rapid impact on climate

In the fight against climate change, reducing methane emissions is an effective short-term measure. Driven by this conviction, Veolia has been developing technologies for capturing and recovering methane for more than 20 years. Veolia is also a member of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC),  which fights the effects of these short-lived pollutants. Gary Crawford, Vice President, International Affairs in Veolia’s Public Affairs Department, discusses this commitment of substance.

Réduire méthane 2

Methane recovery: a short-term vector for action
“In the fight against climate change, efforts have mainly been directed at CO2 and our reliance on fossil fuels. But recently there has been increased interest in short lived climate pollutants (SLCP) —the impact of these urgently needs to be reduced. With a much greater warming influence over a shorter period than CO2, reducing their emissions has a decisive impact in the short term. Landfills represent the 3rd largest source of methane emissions. In this field, Veolia’s expertise can make a difference.

A wide range of tried and tested solutions

Méthane gamme solutions

For more than 20 years, we have been designing and operating technologies for recovering methane that are very effective for managing food or agricultural waste. The same holds true for wastewater sludge!  Whenever possible, we put “smart” systems in place which enable the energy produced to be redistributed locally.  This biogas, converted into heat or electricity, is renewable energy that can replace fossil fuels. The Group has set itself a target of reducing 100 million tons CO2 equivalent emissions and avoiding the emission of 50 million tons CO2 equivalent and capturing 60% of the methane produced on our sites by 2020. It’s a challenge, but we have the technology to do it. Through the voice of its CEO Antoine Frérot, the Group is actively engaged in the debate on methane recovery, and, more broadly, reducing SLCP emissions. We therefore firmly believe that our technologies can, locally, contribute to this with real benefits in terms of public health, resource management and, of course, more attractive cities.

CCAC: practical action
Only high-level partnerships and successful collaboration can enable these solutions to be genuinely deployed and made more widespread. This is why we decided, as of 2012, to join the CCAC , where 49 countries, 44 NGOs and 16 international organisations work together. We exchange views and work with partners such as ministries, agencies, the World Bank, C40 Cities, UNEP, ISWA etc, to transform city projects into widely deployed practical solutions. This is achieved, for example, through developing a knowledge platform, technical support and drawing up funding schemes. Currently, 30 cities are committed to the CCAC, and we hope that their success in lowering emissions will convince 150 by 2020—and then 1,000! COP21 debates, which Veolia and the CCAC will take part in, are an opportunity to alert even more stakeholders and, in this way, accelerate the implementation of practical and effective action.”