Gas Flaring in Colombia
Eliminating routine gas flaring must be central to decarbonization efforts. This burning of natural gas associated with oil extraction contributes to climate change and impacts the environment through CO2, methane, and other emissions (World Bank 2021f). Each year, gas flaring contributes around 400 MtCO2 e to global emissions; according to a World Bank study, it could cost as much as $100 billion to end all routine flaring (World Bank 2018c). Reducing gas flaring provides energy conservation cobenefits, allowing the gas to be either conserved or used for productive purposes, such as generating power and expanding energy access. In 2021, the Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership estimated that more than 144 billion cubic meters of gas were flared at oil and gas production sites around the world (World Bank 2022g). This is enough to generate some 1,800 TWh of energy, almost two-thirds of the EU’s net domestic electricity generation or equivalent to Sub-Saharan Africa’s entire electricity generation capacity. Colombia has made significant advancements in reducing gas flaring. Through a combination of government and business action, the volume of gas flared in Colombia has declined by almost 70 percent.