The United States and the European Union have agreed to cut emissions of the planet-warming gas methane by about a third by the end of this decade, according to documents seen by Reuters and prompting other major economies to join them. Huh.
Their agreement comes as Washington and Brussels seek to galvanize other major economies ahead of a world summit in Glasgow, Scotland in November to address climate change, and the energy, agriculture and waste industries responsible for the bulk of the methane. can have a significant impact on. emissions
The greenhouse gas methane, the biggest cause of climate change after carbon dioxide (CO2), is facing more scrutiny as governments seek solutions to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, which is part of the Paris climate agreement. is a goal.
In an effort to accelerate action, the United States and the European Union announced later this week a plan to reduce human-caused methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030 compared to 2020 levels, according to a draft Global Methane. will make a joint pledge for Pledge seen by Reuters.
“Methane’s short atmospheric lifetime means that taking action now can rapidly reduce the rate of global warming,” the draft said.
A separate document lists more than two dozen countries that the United States and the European Union will target to join the pledge. These include major emitters such as China, Russia, India, Brazil and Saudi Arabia, as well as Norway, Qatar, the UK, New Zealand and South Africa, among others.
Both the US State Department and the European Commission declined to comment.
The agreement will be unveiled on Friday at a meeting of the major emitting economies intended to rally support ahead of the COP26 Glasgow summit.
World leaders are under pressure from scientists, environmental advocates and growing popular sentiment to take more ambitious action to curb climate change in Glasgow.
Methane has a higher heat-trapping capacity than CO2, but it breaks down more rapidly in the atmosphere, so “robust, rapid and sustained reductions” in methane emissions in addition to reductions in CO2 emissions can quickly have a climate impact. , a fact has been emphasized by a report. Last month by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Experts say the fossil fuel sector has the greatest potential to cut methane emissions this decade by fixing leaky pipelines or gas storage facilities, and many of those improvements can be done at little cost.
Yet satellite images and infrared footage have revealed methane emissions emanating from oil and gas sites in countries including the European Union, Mexico and the United States in recent years.
Both the United States and the European Union are due to propose laws to restrict methane emissions this year.
The draft said the US-EU pledge would cover major sources of methane emissions, including leaky oil and gas infrastructure, old coal mines, agriculture and waste such as waste.
Countries joining the pledge will collectively commit to taking domestic action to achieve target methane reductions, “focusing on standards to achieve all possible reductions in the energy and waste sectors” and “through technology innovation.” Simultaneously reducing agricultural emissions through incentives and partnerships”. farmers,” it said.
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