In the United Kingdom, flaring still accounts for around 20 - 25% of all UK offshore emissions. From a global perspective, flaring releases 350 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into the atmosphere every year, with the UK's share of this believed to be around 1.6 billion cubic meters. As well as contributing significantly to global warming, flaring is deemed a complete waste of valuable energy resources, especially considering the present concerns over diminishing energy reserves.

The UK is amongst the top 20 major flaring countries in the world, although more than 85% of gas flared is thought to come from developing countries, where there are no markets and infrastructures in place to recycle, transport and sell the associated gas.
Despite the perception flaring gives (where a flare is a very visible and noisy object) from an environmental and health stance, flaring is actually one of the safest methods for disposing of unwanted gases that cannot otherwise be captured and used for other purposes.

It allows more harmful gases to be converted into CO2 during the combustion process. Since more than 90% of gas flared offshore is methane (CH4), which is over 20 times more effective in trapping heat in the atmosphere than CO2 over a 100 year period, the alternative of simply releasing the methane into the atmosphere without burning and converting it to CO2 would be much more harmful to the environment.

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