The European Union and the USA have introduced the International Methane Pledge, an initiative to cut back world methane emissions to be launched on the UN Local weather Change Convention (COP 26) in November in Glasgow. President Biden and European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen urged international locations on the US-led Main Economies Discussion board on Power and Local weather (MEF) to hitch the Pledge and welcomed those who have already signaled their assist.
Methane is a potent greenhouse gasoline and, in keeping with the most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Local weather Change, accounts for about half of the 1.0 levels Celsius web rise in world common temperature because the pre-industrial period. Quickly lowering methane emissions is complementary to motion on carbon dioxide and different greenhouse gases, and is thought to be the one best technique to cut back world warming within the close to time period and hold the objective of limiting warming to 1.5 levels Celsius inside attain.
International locations becoming a member of the International Methane Pledge decide to a collective objective of lowering world methane emissions by at the least 30% from 2020 ranges by 2030 and shifting in direction of utilizing finest accessible stock methodologies to quantify methane emissions, with a specific deal with excessive emission sources. Delivering on the Pledge would cut back warming by at the least 0.2 levels Celsius by 2050. International locations have extensively various methane emissions profiles and discount potential, however all can contribute to reaching the collective world objective by further home methane discount and worldwide cooperative actions. Main sources of methane emissions embrace oil and gasoline, coal, agriculture, and landfills. These sectors have totally different beginning factors and ranging potential for short-term methane abatement with the best potential for focused mitigation by 2030 within the power sector.
Methane abatement delivers further necessary advantages, together with improved public well being and agricultural productiveness. In accordance with the International Methane Evaluation from the Local weather and Clear Air Coalition (CCAC) and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), reaching the 2030 objective can stop over 200,000 untimely deaths, a whole lot of hundreds of asthma-related emergency room visits, and over 20 million tons of crop losses a 12 months by 2030 by lowering ground-level ozone air pollution brought about partly by methane.
The European Union and eight international locations have already indicated their assist for the International Methane Pledge. These international locations embrace six of the highest 15 methane emitters globally and collectively account for over one-fifth of worldwide methane emissions and almost half of the worldwide financial system.
The European Union has been taking steps to cut back its methane emissions for nearly three a long time. The European Fee technique adopted in 1996 helped scale back methane emissions from landfilling by nearly a half. Beneath the European Inexperienced Deal, and to assist the European Union’s dedication to local weather neutrality by 2050, the European Union adopted in October 2020 a method to cut back methane emissions in all key sectors overlaying power, agriculture and waste. The discount of methane emissions within the present decade is a vital a part of the European Union’s ambition for reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions by at the least 55% by 2030. This 12 months, the European Fee will suggest laws to measure, report and confirm methane emission, put limits on venting and flaring, and impose necessities to detect leaks, and restore them. The European Fee can also be working to speed up the uptake of mitigation applied sciences by the broader deployment of ‘carbon farming’ in European Union Member States and thru their Widespread Agricultural Coverage Strategic Plans, and to advertise biomethane manufacturing from agricultural waste and residues. Lastly, the European Fee is supporting the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) in establishing an impartial Worldwide Methane Emissions Observatory (IMEO) to deal with the worldwide information hole and transparency on this space, together with by a monetary contribution. IMEO will play an necessary position in making a sound scientific foundation for methane emissions calculations and delivering the International Methane Pledge on this regard.
The US is pursuing important methane reductions on a number of fronts. In response to an Government Order that President Biden issued on the primary day of his Presidency, the Environmental Safety Company (EPA) is promulgating new rules to curtail methane emissions from the oil and gasoline trade. In parallel, the EPA has taken steps to implement stronger air pollution requirements for landfills and the Division of Transportation’s Pipeline Hazardous Supplies and Security Administration is continuous to take steps that may scale back methane leakage from pipelines and associated amenities. On the President’s urging and in partnership with US farmers and ranchers, the US Division of Agriculture is working to considerably broaden the voluntary adoption of climate-smart agriculture practices that may scale back methane emissions from key agriculture sources by incentivizing the deployment of improved manure administration programs, anaerobic digesters, new livestock feeds, composting and different practices. The US Congress is contemplating supplemental funding that may assist many of those efforts. Among the many proposals earlier than the Congress, for instance, is a serious initiative to plug and remediate orphaned and deserted oil, gasoline, and coal wells and mines, which might considerably scale back methane emissions. As well as, the USA continues to assist collaborative worldwide methane mitigation efforts, particularly by its management of the International Methane Initiative and CCAC.
The European Union and eight international locations have already indicated their assist for the International Methane Pledge:
- United Kingdom
- United States
The US, the European Union and different early supporters will proceed to enlist further international locations to hitch the International Methane Pledge pending its formal launch at COP 26.