22 years on from the Kyoto Protocol there are now 192 Parties to it. Further to this, the Paris Agreement* entered into force in 2016 and 185 of the 197 Parties to the Convention have now ratified. Despite these efforts, annual volumes of flared gas have plateaued over the past 10 years and have yet to fall substantially below 5TCF. Staggeringly, this waste volume is equivalent to the total annual gas consumption of Central and South America.
This has been regarded as progress given that oil production has continued to rise, but when viewed against ‘peak’ (post-1992) flare volumes in 2003, which reached an estimated 6.2TCF, it is clear that there is much progress still to be made. Data reliability also varies widely, meaning the true figures could be much higher. In 2018, 80% of global flare volumes have been attributed to fewer than 15 countries. The top four (Russia, Iraq, Iran and the US) are all Parties to the Convention and flared more than the next 30 nations combined.
* – The Paris Agreement came into force in 2016. To date, 185 Parties have ratified of 197 Parties to the Convention. Some elements are legally binding, whilst others reportedly aren’t. More details can be found here. The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.