Advancing Methane Regulation: Implications of New Monitoring Technologies

Edward Parson, Cara Horowitz, Juan Pablo Escudero, and Gabriel Greif

Reducing methane emissions is a high priority for greenhouse gas mitigation. Several jurisdictions are starting to use methane remote sensing from aerial, satellite, and ground-based platforms and more are planning to do so soon. The trajectory and potential limitations of these advances are still emerging. Yet they are likely to have profound implications for methane control efforts, whether pursued through managerial, market, informational, regulatory, or other legal and policy channels. 

This Discussion Paper reviews current efforts to integrate remote methane monitoring into regulatory regimes as well as emerging opportunities to use remote sensed data to improve methane regulation and control. The paper also looks at current and anticipated challenges to the effective legal and regulatory use of remote methane observations.

The Discussion Paper was informed by a convening at UCLA in October 2023 of experts in science, technology, law, and policy as part of the Emmett Institute's Advancing Methane Regulation Project. The project's goal is to help guide policymakers as they develop regulations to hunt and halt super-polluting methane. 

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