Oil Change International, April 2023
Certified gas programs are likely highly unreliable and ineffective, resulting in increased threats to health and climate from the oil and gas industry, according to a new report by Oil Change International and Earthworks. Certified Disaster: How Project Canary & Gas Certification are Misleading Gas Markets & Governments examines the rapid growth in “certified gas” and exposes on-the-ground failures to detect oil & gas pollution by one of the largest certifiers of methane gas.
Field investigations by optical gas imaging experts at Earthworks documented nearly two dozen instances in which Project Canary and similar monitoring technologies failed to capture significant pollution events. This evidence calls into question the degree to which gas certification process is misleading gas markets, giving consumers and investors a false sense of security about the environmental impacts of methane gas.
- Project Canary monitors consistently fail to detect pollution events: Oil and gas certified-thermographers captured alarming evidence of Project Canary monitors failing to detect emissions in the field.
- Greenwashing: Project Canary’s marketing aggressively positions its certification services as a means to justify continued fossil fuel extraction, despite IPCC and IEA insistence that fossil fuel production and consumption must rapidly decline to avoid climate catastrophe. (i.e. Project Canary CEO Chris Romer told an interviewer, in September 2022, that “people need to understand that this is the cleanest carbon on the planet, and we need to bring two billion people out of poverty with this enormously clean carbon fuel.”
- Lack of Transparency: Despite claims of ‘radical transparency’ and third-party verification, there is limited access for regulators, academics, or the public to confirm data generated in the certification process.
- Conflicts of Interest: Evidence suggests that a key Project Canary Director and Advisory Board Members have direct financial investments in the same gas companies it certifies.