During the first week at COP26, U.N. climate conference in Glasgow, there were four major announcements: coal. finance. methaneAnd deforestation. Of those four, the global methane pledge could have the most immediate impact on Earth’s climate – provided countries follow through on their pledges and satellite monitoring works as effectively as advertised.
More than 100 countries signed on cut their methane emissions 30% by 2030Under the Global Methane Pledge (an initiative by the U.S.A. and the European Union). And this is the most important foundations and philanthropic groups pledged over US$325 millionTo help countries and industries dramatically reduce methane emissions coming from multiple sources.
Methane is approximately 84 times more powerfulCarbon dioxide is far more effective in warming the climate than carbon dioxide in the short term. Because it is only in the atmosphere for a short time. about 12 yearsCompared to carbon dioxide which can take hundreds of years, reducing methane emissions from human activities can have a rapid impact on global warming.
A 30% reduction of methane emissions would reduce projected global warming 0.2 degrees CelsiusAccording to European Union estimates, 0.36 F. That buys some time while countries are lowering their harder-to-cut carbon dioxide emissions, but it doesn’t mean other efforts can slow down.
What impact could the pledge make?
The increase in methane emissions is driven by three anthropogenic sources: leaks from fossil fuel infrastructure – methane is the primary component of natural gas and can leak from natural gas pipelines, drilling operations and coal mines – and also from agriculture, primarily livestock and rice fields, and from decaying waste in landfills. The technology existsLocate and stop leaks from pipelines, oil and gas operations, and many other landfills already make money. capturing methaneFor use as fuel.
Recent analysis has shown that the methane pledge can slow global warming. The Climate and Clean Air Coalition and U.N. issued the May 2021 Climate and Clean Air Coalition. The Environment Programme was released in May 2021 by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition and U.N. Global Methane Assessment, a landmark report that describes how reducing methane can change the climate trajectory within the next 20 years – a critical time frame for slowing warming enough to avoid passing dangerous tipping points. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment ReportAugust 2021 concluded that methane mitigation has a great potential to slow down warming over the next 20 year.
Human-caused methane omissions are increasing at alarming rates. Data releasedAccording to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, global methane emissions increased by a whopping 80% in 2020. Over the past decade, methane emissions reached five-year growth rates that were not seen since 1980s.
An ambitious start
Can the new global methane promise work in time to help industry and governments limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius in the next 20 years?
It can, in short.
The Global Methane AssessmentIt was determined that global human-driven methane emission should be reduced by between 130-230 megatons per annum by 2030 in order to meet the Paris climate accord goal of keeping global temperature rise below 1.5 C by 2030. This is consistent with the Paris climate deal goal of keeping global temperatures under 1.5 C by 2030. The Global Methane Pledge announced at COP26 would achieve approximately 145 megatons in annual reductions in 2030, an estimate extrapolated from the International Energy Agency’s methane tracking reports.
The Biden administration proposed sweeping new rulesto reduce methane emissions and specifically target oil and gas operations in order to reach its goal. Missing from the pledge’s signers, however, are some large methane emitters, including China and Russia.
I workedI have been involved in climate change issues since many years, both in the George W. Bush administration and in the Barack Obama administration. The pledge is a strong first step and the first-ever global commitment specifically to reduce global methane emission.
The 30% goal is an ambitious starting point, as countries improve their methane reduction efforts and technology improves.
Reducing methane is crucial for protecting climate and health, and it can pay for itself – so why aren’t more companies doing it?
This story is part of The Conversation’s coverage of COP26, the Glasgow climate conference, by experts from around the world.
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