03/10/2016 07:23 EST | Updated 03/11/2017 00:12 EST

Environmental groups welcome federal methane reduction target for oil and gas

CALGARY — Environmental groups are applauding a promise by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to reduce methane emissions in the oil and gas industry.

Trudeau committed to reduce methane emissions by 40 to 45 per cent below 2012 levels by 2025 in a joint statement with U.S. President Barack Obama today.

The Pembina Institute says the announcement demonstrates the federal government's commitment to co-ordinate action on environmental goals.

The Alberta-based organization says implementing the target will achieve a tangible step forward on emissions reductions and can be done cost-effectively with current technology.

Methane is a greenhouse gas that is estimated to be at least 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a climate warming agent.

The joint announcement by Canada and the U.S. follows on Alberta's commitment last November to achieve similar methane emission reductions in the oil and gas sector.