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World News

World leaders pledge to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030

today02/11/2021

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World leaders have pledged to cut methane emission levels by 30% by 2030 as part of efforts to tackle the climate crisis at the COP26 summit in Glasgow.

The Global Methane Pledge is an international initiative put forward by the US and EU to reduce methane emissions, an effective way to slow warming in the short-term.

John Kerry, the Biden administration’s climate envoy, said more than 100 countries have joined the effort to meet the targets of the pledge.

He spoke before Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen appeared together in Glasgow to announce details of the wide-ranging plan.

The Biden administration plans to tackle oil and gas wells, pipelines and other infrastructure first as part of its broader strategy to crack down on climate change.

Its goal is to eliminate over 0.2C of near-term warming by cutting global methane by at least 30% by 2030.

While it sounds like a small change, it could have a significant impact on the severity and frequency of extreme weather events.

More on Cop26

It will also substantially improve public health and agricultural productivity by reducing the ground-level ozone pollution that methane exacerbates.

Addressing the summit, US President Joe Biden thanked those who have signed the “game-changing commitment”.

US President Joe Biden speaks at the Global Methane Pledge event during COP26
Image: US President Joe Biden speaks at the Global Methane Pledge event during COP26

He said: “What we do in this decisive decade… is going to impact whether or not we can meet our longer-term commitment.

“One of the most important things we can do in this decisive decade to keep 1.5C in reach is to reduce our methane as quickly as possible.

“As has already been stated, it is one of the most potent greenhouse gases there is. It amounts to about half the warming we are experiencing today.”

He added the pledge will make a “huge difference” not just when fighting climate change, but with the physical health of individuals.

During his two-day appearance at the summit in Glasgow, Mr Biden has vowed to work with the EU and other nations to achieve the goal.

Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, told the summit: “We all want to build a cleaner and healthier future for our kids. That means taking real climate action.”

He also told COP26 there’s no achievable global pathway to reach the 1.5C target “without deep cuts to methane over the next decade”.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, explained that cutting back on methane emissions is “one of the most effective things we can do” to slow down climate change.

The pledge is arguably the biggest single thing countries can do to keep alive the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

Methane is usually produced as a by-product of the oil and gas industry, but if captured, it can be used as fuel for power plants and domestic purposes.

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Invisible and odourless, it is considered to be a major contributor to global warming and is much more harmful than carbon dioxide.

Experts believe lowering methane levels can not only stop the planet from getting hotter, but can actively lower global temperatures.

Commenting on the updated pledge announced today at COP26, Professor Emily Shuckburgh, Director of Cambridge Zero at the University of Cambridge, said: “Methane is the second most important greenhouse gas and rapid cuts would make an important difference. It has contributed about 0.5C to warming to date and although it doesn’t stay as long in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide in the first 20 years after its release it is 80 times more powerful at heating.

“Methane is an easy win in terms of climate action: cuts using existing technologies and adopting different land management practices could reduce warming by 0.25C by 2050 at little or no cost, and help to keep 1.5 alive.”

 Sky News

© Sky News 2021

Written by: Rother Radio News


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today02/11/2021