Over 30 Countries Agree to Cut Methane by 30%

Image: Jeffrey Beall via Wikimedia Commons

By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer

Thirty-one countries have joined the Global Methane Pledge, a US and EU-led global pledge drafted last month by the two nations to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030. This news arrives three weeks before world leaders convene for COP26 in Glasgow to determine how to prepare for imminent climate-related disasters and prevent catastrophic warming.

 

Why This Matters: Methane is the second-most prevalent greenhouse gas and has a deadly effect on warming. While carbon stays in the atmosphere longer, methane can capture up to 86 times more heat over just two decades. It escapes into the atmosphere from a number of sources including natural gas, landfills, agriculture, and melting permafrost.

 

Reducing methane emissions is crucial. If nations reach the Global Methane Pledge’s goals, the earth will avoid 0.2 degrees Celsius of warming by 2050

 

Climate Envoy John Kerry tweeted: “Methane reductions are the single most effective strategy to reduce global warming in the near term and keep a 1.5 C future within reach.”

 

The Road to 30% by 2030

Brazil, India, China, and Russia are the four largest methane emitters, but have not yet agreed to the pledge. However, nine of the world’s top 20 emitters, the US, EU, Canada, Indonesia, Pakistan, Mexico, Nigeria, Argentina, and Iraq — have joined the campaign. These nine countries represent approximately 30% of total emissions and 60% of the global economy.

 

In addition to diplomatic efforts, 20 philanthropic organizations committed $223 million in support of the Global Methane Pledge. Moreover, the EPA is expected to announce forthcoming methane restrictions for existing oil and gas wells.

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