Gas flaring in 20 of the world’s leading oil-producing countries contributes as much to climate change as a major economy like Italy, new estimates show, reports John Vidal at the UK Guardian. While flaring has been cut by 30 percent since 2005, mostly between then and 2007, $50 billion worth of gas is still wasted annually, the World Bank said. New satellite analysis of the burning methane, a byproduct of fossil fuel drilling, suggests that bans and fines, and/or the introduction of technology in newer oil fields has significantly reduced the pollution and waste in some countries, but has failed in others. Only 10 percent overall cuts have been achieved by the world’s top 20 emitters since 2007, despite pledges to drastically reduce flaring. The U.S., the fifth highest global gas flarer, has nearly tripled the amount it flares since 2007 while increasing its flaring nearly 50 percent in 2010-2011, largely because of shale oil developments in places like North Dakota. The bank urged countries and companies to reduce flaring by at least 30 percent by 2017, saying it made financial and developmental sense.
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Gas Flaring is Wasting Fuel and Fueling Climate Change John Vidal, UK Guardian. http://www.climatecentral.org/news/gas-flaring-is-wasting-fuel-and-fueling-climate-change-15163 see also: http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTOGMC/EXTGGFR/0,,contentMDK:22137498~menuPK:3077311~pagePK:64168445~piPK:64168309~theSitePK:578069,00.html