MiQ x Carbon Limits: New standard to drive down methane emissions from LNG

A new collaboration between two leading organisations is set to rapidly reduce damaging methane emissions from the production and transport of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The venture will see the development of a first-of-a-kind independent standard for determining the methane emissions of global LNG, providing buyers with the transparency they need to accurately assess and compare the methane emissions performance of every batch of LNG.

MiQ, the independent, not-for-profit partnership between RMI and SYSTEMIQ, has already developed a world-first certification model to incentivise methane abatement across the oil and gas sector, starting with upstream production.

The group will now extend the MiQ Standard to the LNG supply chain through a collaboration with Carbon Limits – a diverse team of engineers, economists, and policy experts with strong expertise and extensive experience on GHG mitigation in the oil and gas sector.

The move will create the first independently audited certification standard for LNG this summer, aiming to tackle the environmental impacts of methane emissions head on. Certification will be done on an asset basis to ensure accuracy, offering certainty on environmental performance.

“We need to redefine our energy systems so that they work in lockstep with our global environmental goals, and the development of this cutting-edge standard represents a tangible leap forward.

From early summer, LNG producers and buyers will be given the tools to provide the transparency currently missing in the market – helping to pick up the pace in our fight against climate change and taking us one step closer to net-zero.”

Georges Tijbosch

Equivalent to 8x the CO2 emissions from the aviation sector worldwide in a normal year, the impact of global methane emissions from the oil and gas industry on climate change targets is dramatic. And, with oil and natural gas expected to remain a major part of the energy mix through 2030 and beyond, the standard marks a critical step in methane abatement.

Achieving 0.2% methane emissions performance in the global oil and gas sector by 2030 would have a huge impact on global annual GHG emissions – equivalent to taking 1.2 billion polluting cars off the road by 2030.

“Methane emission from oil and gas installations are hard to trace and quantify with large discrepancies in estimates as a result. Awareness of the problem and motivation to address it is growing, but it is hard to fix given the complexity of supply chain operations.

Robust monitoring, reporting and verification frameworks are needed, established through an independent and science-based process. Transparency in all aspects of the standard is also essential for gaining broad public trust.”

Stephanie Saunier

By assessing and certifying the methane emissions performance of LNG, the standard will provide greater transparency and allow for the differentiation of LNG based on its methane performance. MiQ’s A-F grading system will make it easy for buyers to fully understand the environmental performance of the natural gas they are buying.

The move follows the news that both EQT Corporation and Northeast Natural Energy have signed up for MiQ Certification under the existing standards developed by MiQ, with more expected to follow as we shift the needle on reducing greenhouse gas emissions through methane abatement.


  • Global aviation emissions comparison is based on analysis by IEA – finding emissions of 0.9 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2018.
  • Comparisons to passenger cars uses EPA data for emissions from a single car of 4.6 tonnes CO2 per year, and MiQ calculations based on global methane emissions from the oil and gas sector of 84 million tonnes in 2019 (IEA Methane Tracker 2020) and methane being 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide in a 20-year timeframe (IPCC AR5).

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