Data tracker: coal mine methane emissions

A data tool assessing confidence in country reporting of coal mine methane emissions




Coal mining globally releases millions of tonnes of methane every year, a potent greenhouse gas which adds to coal’s considerable climate impact.

According to government data reported to UNFCCC, coal mines release 30.5 million tonnes of methane emissions per year. Over 20 years, methane’s climate impact is 82.5 times that of carbon dioxide, meaning it adds 17% to the climate impact of burning coal.

There are major gaps in how governments measure coal mine methane. Independent studies reveal that global coal mine methane emissions could be more than twice as high as reported by governments. Across three studies that used various techniques, Ember finds that emissions estimates range between 38-67 million tonnes of methane per year.

This tool compiles national emission estimates from the IEA, GEM, Shen et al.(2023) and governments (reported to the UNFCCC). It scores countries on how well they were found to be reporting on coal mine methane emissions.