Climate Change and Methane
At COP 26 in Glasgow, UK, hundreds of countries committed to limiting methane emissions. This pledge will help reduce global warming by at least 0.2 degrees Celsius. In the near future, methane will be one of the most important levers for slowing climate change.
The Global Methane Pledge was co-initiated by the United States and the European Union. It aims to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030. While the Pledge is not binding, individual countries will review their progress at annual ministerial meetings. Countries are also asked to develop national methane reduction action plans by COP27.
As a result, the Global Methane Pledge has already gained momentum. The European Union, along with 15 other major emitters, signed the agreement. However, India has yet to join the pledge.
With its potential to reduce global temperatures by 0.3 degrees Celsius, the methane pledge is an important step forward in the fight against climate change. However, implementing the pledge will require the cooperation of the entire international community. Although there is a great deal of political will on the horizon, the scientific knowledge needed to develop viable methane removal technologies remains largely undeveloped.
Methane is a short-lived greenhouse gas with an outsized impact on climate. It traps 28 to 80 times more heat than carbon dioxide. There are several ways to remove methane from the atmosphere. For example, waste in landfills can be reduced. Furthermore, feed additives can also be used to reduce the emission of methane from livestock. Other measures include the use of solar panels on rooftops.
During the first two days of COP 26, big names like Senator Kerry, Vice President Biden, and President Obama made speeches and announced new pledges to combat climate change. They included an end to deforestation and a phase-out of public financing for coal-fired power.
Methane Action, a leading nonprofit focused on methane, will also be a critical partner in COP 26. It will host an event to discuss the science and governance of methane removal. During the meeting, Methane Action’s CEO will be joined by a lineup of leading experts.
Mission Innovation is a key part of the COP 26 agenda. Launched in Paris in 2015, Mission Innovation will play a critical role in delivering Breakthroughs. To support Breakthroughs, Mission Innovation will focus on four key areas: Hydrogen, Power, Mission Innovation, and Agricultural Systems. These initiatives will serve as the foundation for future low-carbon production systems.
Additionally, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition will provide technical expertise to partner states and serve as a neutral arbiter of emerging science. They need funding to continue their work on methane reduction and development. Having an expert arbiter is critical. Also, partner states need to step up their funding of the methane pledge and target it directly toward the pledge.
Beyond COP26 is a series of events that will explore key developments from the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference. Those discussions will highlight progress on innovative emissions control technologies, such as those announced at COP26.