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New Global Methane Pledge aims to tackle climate change

The European Union (EU) and the US have announced a Global Methane Pledge to deliver a 30% reduction in methane emissions by 2030 (based on 2020 levels). Argentina, Ghana, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Mexico and the UK have indicated their support for the Pledge, which is due to be formally launched at COP26 in Glasgow in November. 

Making the announcement at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, US President Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen urged countries to join the Pledge and welcomed those that have already signalled their support. Those countries include six of the top 15 methane emitters globally and together account for over one-fifth of global methane emissions and nearly half of the global economy. By supporting the Pledge, countries have committed to moving towards using best available inventory methodologies to quantify methane emissions, with a particular focus on high emission sources.

Methane has a shorter atmospheric lifetime than CO
2 (around 12 years) but is a much more potent greenhouse gas (GHG). According to the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), methane accounts for about half of the 1oC net rise in global average temperature since the pre-industrial era. Rapidly reducing methane emissions is complementary to action on CO2 and other GHGs, and is regarded as the single most effective strategy to reducing global warming in the near term and keep the Paris Agreement goal of limiting warming to 1.5oC within reach. It is hoped that delivering on the Pledge would reduce warming by at least 0.2oC by 2050.

Under the European Green Deal, the EU adopted a strategy to reduce methane emissions in all key sectors covering energy, agriculture and waste in October 2020. This year, the EU will release legislation to measure, report and verify methane emission, put limits on venting and flaring, and impose requirements to detect leaks and repair them.



News Item details

Journal title: Petroleum Review

Countries: Europe - USA -

Subjects: Methane - Energy policy - Emission control - Net zero -

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