EIA and its campaign partners today (31 March) released a new report spelling out quick actions for governments to take which would significantly cut methane emissions in the fight against climate change.
Methane Matters: A comprehensive approach to methane mitigation, jointly produced with Changing Markets Foundation and the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), lays out specific measures to cut methane in the biggest emitting sectors – agriculture, energy and waste.
Methane is a short-lived but extremely potent gas which has 82.5 times more warming potential than CO2 over a 20-year timespan.
Fortunately, because its short lifespan sees it degrade in 12 years, the rapid reduction of methane emissions is a key opportunity to slow the rate of warming and help us stay below 1.5°C of warming. It is, essentially, the low-hanging fruit of climate action.
Under current policy scenarios, human-driven methane emissions are expected to continue to increase by more than 15 per cent by 2030, reaching nearly 380 million tonnes a year – an eight per cent increase from 2020 levels. Concerted efforts between countries are needed to see a drastic reduction of methane emissions at the global level and across the three high-emitting sectors: agriculture (40 per cent of emissions), energy (35 per cent) and waste (20 per cent).
More than 110 countries have committed to the Global Methane Pledge, an initiative launched at last year’s CoP26 UN Climate conference. The Pledge has the collective goal of reducing global methane emissions by 30 per cent by 2030, compared to 2020 levels.
Although a step in the right direction, this commitment falls short of the ambition needed to stay below 1.5°C warming and, according to the UN Environment Programme’s Global Methane Assessment (GMA), methane emissions should be reduced by at least 45 per cent in this critical decade of climate action.
The Methane Matters report also includes models developed by scientists as well as best practice and examples of successful policies around the world.
In parallel, governments should enhance global governance on methane to enable and support national action on methane, with provisions on monitoring, reporting and verification as well as financial and technical assistance.