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VIDEO: Global methane emissions and Minnesota’s renewables

March 2, 2023

The Week in Sustainability – February 27–March 3, 2023

Minnesota’s carbon-free electricity by 2040

Minnesota has passed a landmark bill requiring utilities to provide 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040, joining other states that have set similar targets. The state had previously reached its 2025 target of 25% renewable energy early and is currently at about 35% renewable, with much of it coming from excess hydro from Manitoba. The new standard will require expanding solar and wind power, especially in neighboring North Dakota, which has announced plans to sue Minnesota over the law because Minnesota is North Dakota’s biggest customer for dirty fossil fuel energy and the fossil fuel industry is North Dakota’s largest industry.

Several other states, including California, New York, and Oregon, have similar standards to Minnesota. It highlights that clean electrification is essential to reducing carbon emissions, and more states are setting targets to transition to 100% renewable or carbon-free energy sources.

IEA says global methane emissions increased in 2022 

Last year, the energy sector saw a 4% increase in methane emissions, with almost 135 million tonnes emitted. Two factors that explain this increase: improved detection of methane leaks through the use of satellites and the occurrence of dramatic methane release events, like a flare failure at a Pemex facility in Mexico and the explosion of the Nord Stream Pipeline, which released an estimated 150 thousand metric tonnes into the atmosphere.

Although these events are significant, smaller operational leaks are left unaddressed for much longer and contribute to the equivalent of a Nord Stream leak every day, according to the International Energy Agency. Reducing methane emissions is crucial to addressing climate change, and it requires not only addressing major events but also addressing smaller operational leaks.

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  1. Inside Climate News. “Minnesota Has Passed a Landmark Clean Energy Law. Which State Is Next?” Accessed March 2, 2023
  2. IEA. “Methane emissions from the global energy sector rose to nearly 135 Mt in 2022” Accessed March 2, 2023
Editorial statement
At Sustain.Life, our goal is to provide the most up-to-date, objective, and research-based information to help readers make informed decisions. Written by practitioners and experts, articles are grounded in research and experience-based practices. All information has been fact-checked and reviewed by our team of sustainability professionals to ensure content is accurate and aligns with current industry standards. Articles contain trusted third-party sources that are either directly linked to the text or listed at the bottom to take readers directly to the source.
Sustain.Life Team
Sustain.Life’s teams of sustainability practitioners and experts often collaborate on articles, videos, and other content.
Alyssa Rade
Alyssa Rade is the chief sustainability officer at Sustain.Life. She has over ten years of corporate sustainability experience and guides Sustain.Life’s platform features.
The takeaway

– Global methane emissions in the energy sector increased by 4% in 2022.
– Renewable portfolio standards are being set by more U.S. states, with Minnesota being the latest to commit to a 100% carbon-free and renewable target for their state grid by 2040.
– Electrification is key to reducing emissions as grids become greener, and adopting electric vehicles and other electrified technologies is important in achieving sustainability goals.