Turkmenistan caused more global warming last year with methane leaks than was caused by the UK’s entire CO2 footprint. Turkmenistan is Central Asia’s most repressive dictatorship and China’s biggest supplier of natural gas. Its reserves are among the biggest in the world and its regime among the least amenable to international regulation. It leaks what it likes. This is immensely frustrating, the Kayrros remote sensing firm tells the Guardian, because methane is 80 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, while methane leakage is relatively easy to prevent. Most of the methane comes from deliberate flaring by the state energy monopoly, but a small amount is from a giant natural flare in the desert north of the ancient town of Merv. Its name translates as “joy”.