The extraction and production of oil and gas releases three times as many climate-damaging gases as the states have so far officially reported to the United Nations. This is shown by measurements by the non-profit initiative Trace, in which data analysts, researchers and non-governmental organizations work together. Former US Vice President Al Gore, who presented the data at the world climate conference in Egypt on Wednesday, is also involved.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner said that the emission of the greenhouse gas methane in fossil fuel plants is particularly grossly underestimated, for example when they are deliberately burned off and through leaks. “It’s really shocking.” According to the data report, half of the world’s largest sources of climate-damaging greenhouse gases are oil and gas production sites and associated facilities.

According to the data, Germany emitted around 1.4 percent of the greenhouse gases recorded worldwide in 2021 – and is thus in 10th place in terms of quantity. Energy production contributed a good 30 percent to emissions in Germany – the transport sector contributed almost 20 percent. China tops the global rankings with a 27.6 percent share of gas emissions, followed by the United States with just under 12 percent.

Gore said this is the most detailed mapping in the world of exactly where greenhouse gases are emitted. It is about more transparency, the naming of responsibilities and ultimately about preventing fraud.

UN Secretary-General António Gutteres complained that many important greenhouse gas sources are not yet on the radar in real time. Therefore, the Trace initiative is important because it independently collects emissions data, mostly through direct observation using artificial intelligence. That creates “radical transparency,” he said. “They make greenwashing more difficult. Or, to put it bluntly: cheating.”

Trace data report