Europe Methane Imports Curb To Benefit Producers and the Planet

09 December 2023
Global Trade

EU’s long-running ethical trial over the high emissions from fossil fuel importation has finally been tackled. The EU will curb the imports of fossil fuels such as coal, gas, and oil to curb the high carbon emissions. The EU is highly responsible for high emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane from the importation of fossil fuels. Since the pandemic in 2020, many environmentalists have urged the EU to take a step. The EU has finally taken a step.

 

EU’s Fossil Fuel — By Commodity

 

The fossil fuel industry utilizes commodities such as coal, oil and natural gas. Europe is the highest importing region for these fossil fuels in the world. Through flaring, venting and leaks, gases such as methane (100 times more potent than C02) are released into the atmosphere.

 

The top 5 importing commodities by the EU from Chapter 27—Mineral Fuels and Oils are shown in the dataset below. The top imported commodities include Petroleum Gas, Crude Oil, Refined Petroleum Oil, Electrical Energy, and Coal.

 

In 2018, crude oil was the highest imported commodity than any other fossil fuel shown in the dataset. For consecutive years, crude oil has been the highest imported commodity till 2021. In 2022, the imports of crude oil were surpassed by petroleum gas.

 

The value of crude oil has increased, with a downfall in the year 2020. Refined petroleum oil remained the third-highest imported product. Imports of electrical energy increased gradually and surpassed the imports of coal. Imports of gas surged high and stood as the highest importing product.

 

Tracing Trends of the Top 5 Importing Commodities By EU In 5 Years From Chapter 27 — Mineral Fuels and Oils

Commodity

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

Petroleum Gases and Hydrocarbons

115.75

101.02

69.50

168.00

403.09

Crude Oil

279.21

248.07

150.63

245.08

374.30

Refined Petroleum Oil

177.15

163.26

105.24

165.02

252.99

Electrical Energy

20.46

18.54

14.89

42.56

97.21

Coal

21.14

15.45

8.98

15.96

40.44

 

Value USD Billion

 

 

EU’s Fossil Fuel — By Countries

 

EU’s fossil fuels are the highest in the world with coal, gas, and oil being the top-used and combusted commodities that emit the highest carbon dioxide and methane emissions. The EU imports the highest value of these top-three fossil fuels than any other bloc or region.

 

The EU’s imports of coal come the highest from Russia, Australia, the United States, Colombia, and South Africa. The highest importing countries for coal in the EU are Germany, Poland, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain.

 

EU's Coal 5 Top Importing Countries and Exporting Partners (2022)

Importing Country of The EU

Exporting Partner of the EU

Germany

12.93

7.96

Russia

Poland

5.65

6.89

Australia

Italy

4.20

6.36

United States of America

Netherlands

2.92

5.93

Colombia

Spain

2.89

4.91

South Africa

 

Value USD Billion

 

 


The EU’s imports of crude oil come the highest from Russia, the United States, Norway, the Netherlands, and Saudi Arabia. The highest importing countries for crude oil from the EU consist of Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, and France.

 

EU's Crude 5 Top Importing Countries and Exporting Partners (2022)

Importing Country of The EU

Exporting Partner of the EU

Germany

62.04

55.93

Russia

Netherlands

58.66

40.43

United States of America

Spain

47.74

36.19

Norway

Italy

44.91

28.00

Netherlands

France

35.03

24.99

Saudi Arabia

 

Value USD Billion

 

 


The EU’s imports of petroleum gas come the highest from Russia, the United States of America, Norway, Belgium, and Algeria. The highest importing countries for petroleum gas from the EU bloc consist of countries such as Germany, Italy, Belgium, France, and the Netherlands.

 

EU's Gas 5 Top Importing Countries and Exporting Partners (2022)

Importing Country of The EU

Exporting Partner of the EU

Germany

75.90

58.68

Russia

Italy

68.69

57.19

United States of America

Belgium

65.32

29.32

Norway

France

63.67

28.69

Belgium

Netherlands

28.03

25.39

Algeria

 

Value USD Billion

 

 

 

EU’s Natural Gas Imports

 

The imports of natural gas are the highest in the countries belonging to the European Union (EU). As seen in the dataset above, the imports of gas received positive gains and gradually surged in value to stand at the top of the top 5 imported commodities shown in the dataset.

 

The below-shown data represents the top 5 EU importing countries and exporting partners. France, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, and Belgium are the top-importing countries of the EU. The United States of America is the top exporting partner of the EU for natural gas imports.

 

EU's Natural Gas 5 Top Importing Countries and Exporting Partners (2022)

Importing Country of The EU

Exporting Partner of the EU

France

34.00

50.89

United States of America

Spain

22.62

17.04

Russia

Netherlands

18.97

16.94

Qatar

Italy

14.15

5.10

Angola

Belgium

11.08

5.05

Egypt

 

Value USD Billion

 

 


The imports of natural gas in the past five years by the EU registered these values: $13.5 billion in 2018, $17.7 billion in 2019, $11.5 billion in 2020, $29.2 billion in 2021, and $118.7 billion in 2022. The year 2022 registered the highest surging value, with total exports of $118.7 billion.

 

EU's Natural Gas Imports — By Year

Year

Value USD Billion

2018

13.57

2019

17.79

2020

11.51

2021

29.22

2022

118.79

 


Every gas produced and imported to any country in the world consists of compounds of carbon and hydrogen, which are called hydrocarbons. The most significant and simplified hydrocarbon is CH4 or methane (100 times more powerful than CO2). This is the reason methane is the focal point of the EU’s objective.

 

The EU Methane Regulation for the energy sector was proposed in December 2021, and it is the first time any country or bloc is tackling the issue of methane with the support of legislation. With the collective efforts of other countries with the EU, methane emissions will be reduced by 2030.

 

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