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Climate Change

API Climate Position

API and its members commit to delivering solutions that reduce the risks of climate change while meeting society’s growing energy needs. We support global action that drives greenhouse gas emissions reductions and economic development.

The natural gas and oil industry plays a vital role in advancing human and economic prosperity that is essential to extending the benefits of modern life. One way the industry accomplishes this is by developing and deploying technologies and products that continue to reduce GHG emissions.

API will lead by providing platforms for industry action to:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions through industry-led solutions, and
  • Actively work on policies that address the risks of climate change while meeting the global need for affordable, reliable and sustainable energy.

API Climate Policy Principles

API and its members advocate for government policies that ensure the availability and continued development of affordable, reliable and sustainable energy, including oil and natural gas supplies and products derived from them, to consumers. The following principles will guide API’s perspective on public policies that address the risks of climate change. Sound public policy approaches must be designed to:

  • Facilitate meaningful GHG emissions reductions and conservation from all sectors of the economy.
  • Balance economic, environmental and energy security needs.
  • Promote economy-wide innovation and development of cost-effective technologies to meaningfully reduce GHG emissions.
  • Optimize solutions by eliminating redundant or contradictory policies.
  • Support market-based policies to drive innovation.
  • Maintain the competitive positioning of U.S. businesses in global markets.
  • Rely upon predictable and economically efficient policy frameworks, such as the use of offsets, that foster competition and utilize economy-wide market forces, to deliver outcomes at the least cost to society.
  • Ensure that energy producers, manufacturers and suppliers are responsible for their direct emissions.
  • Recognize and appropriately account for early and/or voluntary actions.
  • Make the costs and associated climate benefits of any policy fully transparent to the American public.
  • Continue to advance understanding of global climate change in order to calibrate and adapt future policies appropriately and effectively.

What's Current

Industry Activities

Key Investments in Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Technologies from 2000 Through 2016 by Oil and Gas Firms, Other Industry and the Federal Government (April 2018)

This report provides estimates of the investments made from 2000 through 2016 in various greenhouse gas emission reduction technologies. Estimates are provided for the oil and gas industry, other private sector industries, and the Federal Government. 

The study found that the natural gas and oil industry is a leading investor in zero and low-carbon technology, investing more than $108 billion between 2000-2016, which is more than double the investments of each of the next two industries. In 2016 the natural gas and oil industry reported the largest GHG reduction to date compared to the previous year – GHG reductions of more than 57 MM tons of CO equivalent. That’s the amount of carbon that would be captured by more than 5.4 billion, 10-year-old evergreen and pine trees.


Compendium of Greenhouse Gas emissions Methodologies for the Oil and Gas Industry (2021)

Every day, the natural gas and oil industry is working to reduce emissions and build a lower-carbon future while continuing to meet rising global energy demand. API’s Compendium of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Methodologies for the Natural Gas and Oil Industry serves as a key resource for companies striving to meet that dual challenge in ways that yield tangible results. The Compendium supports timely and accurate estimation and reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It is also the basis for industry transparency going forward. This new edition of the Compendium, the first update since 2009, details methodologies for natural gas and oil industry segments to consistently estimate direct GHG emissions over the entire value chain. The work reflects the evolution of GHG calculation and incorporates what has been learned in this field over the past 12 years. For the first time, the Compendium includes expanded methodologies for liquefied natural gas (LNG), as well as carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS).

API Tools for Estimating GHG Emissions

Accurate estimation of greenhouse gas emissions is indispensable to responsibly addressing the serious issue of climate change. Through API, the U.S. oil and natural gas industry has provided a suite of tools for estimating emissions. It includes API's 2009 compendium of emissions estimation methodologies, software for emissions estimation and inventorying.

Addressing Uncertainty in Oil and Natural Gas Industry Greenhouse Gas Inventories (February 2015)

Industry has recognized that with the emergence of mandatory reporting programs and economic instruments that rely on precise knowledge of GHG emissions (and emission reductions) there is a growing focus on improving the quality of emission estimations. To meet this need, industry developed guidance entitled: “Addressing Uncertainty in Oil & Gas Industry GHG Inventories: Technical Considerations and Calculation Methods”. This is a collaborative effort among API, it’s global affiliate IPIECA, and it’s European counterpart CONCAWE. Addressing uncertainty for GHG emission estimates complements the API GHG Methodology Compendium (API Compendium)released in August 2009. The document provides the needed background information and details on measurement uncertainty and statistical calculation methods that are relevant for the industry, but could be used by other sectors as part of their GHG inventory development.

Consistent Methodology for Estimating Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Operations (May 2015)

This document is designed to provide guidance for the quantification of GHG emissions associated with operations along the LNG value chain, i.e. liquefaction; shipping; loading/unloading; regasification; and storage.

Sustainability reporting guidance for the oil and gas industry, 4th Edition (March 2020)

The U.S. natural gas and oil industry is committed to environmental stewardship, safety and strong stakeholder relationships. On March 30, 2020, IPIECA, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP) released the fourth edition of the “Sustainability reporting guidance for the oil and gas industry. The Guidance provides oil and gas companies with a clear framework to demonstrate their essential role in the energy transition by reporting on how they manage climate and sustainability impacts and opportunities. 

Oil and gas companies were among the first businesses to pioneer sustainability reporting. The original edition of this publication was issued in December 2003 to fulfill the need for industry guidance focused the accounting and reporting of GHG emissions at the facility through to the corporate level. The fourth edition marks over fifteen years of collaboration between the member companies across the three leading industry associations. The Guidance helps provide detailed reporting on environmental, health, safety, social and economic performance, critical information that helps to foster collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders focused on creating a significant turning point in meeting the challenge of climate change head-on.  

Updates to the Guidance have been applied to six areas of focus: (1) Reporting process, (2) Governance and business ethics, (3) Climate change and energy (4) Environment, (5) Safety, health and security, and (6) Social impacts. Notably, modifications were made to improve reporting of performance indicators related to ‘climate change and energy,” as these areas are of real interest to an investment community increasingly committed to financing innovative, lower-carbon, energy paths. The updated Guidance represents the work of more than 80 representatives from 28 oil and gas companies from six continents and an independent external stakeholder panel comprised of experts representing NGOs, investors and investor groups, banks and expert consultants.

Estimating petroleum industry value chain (Scope 3) greenhouse gas emissions and overview of methodologies (June 2016)

Estimating petroleum industry value chain (Scope 3) greenhouse gas emissions, an overview of methodologies, informs oil and gas companies on value chain greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions estimation and approaches. The document outlines a number of approaches used by the oil and gas industry to estimate scope 3 emissions, and complements and provides industry context to existing standards and guidance documents. Much of the material draws on the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) GHG Protocol Scope 3 Standard.

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