In the second day of the COP26 climate summit, nearly 100 nations committed to reducing methane (CH4) emissions by 30 percent by 2030.
In an initiative known as the Global Methane Pledge, the United States partnered with the European Union, saying reducing emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas would have an immediate impact.
Among the countries that have signed the pledge are those that emit nearly half of all methane produced by humans. This initiative will focus primarily on the fossil fuel industry, which is responsible for a significant portion of methane emissions.
Despite being one of the most potent greenhouse gases, methane (CH4) has largely been ignored, compared to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions while making climate policies and initiatives.
Although the concentrations of methane (CH4) emitted each into the atmosphere, through both natural and human process is minuscule compared to the concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) is far more potent at warming up the atmosphere and can capture nearly 86 times more heat than carbon dioxide.
The current published Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report emphasized the lack of action from countries around the world concerning methane (CH4) emissions. Additionally, recent research has shown that removing just three years’ worth of methane (CH4) emissions from human sources could reduce global temperatures by up to 0.21 degrees Celsius.
Nearly 190 countries pledged to limit global temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels during the Paris Climate Summit in 2015.
Yet countries are not taking to achieve that goal by the year 2030 as highlighted by the World Meteorological Organisation’s report from last week. In the report, WMO called the current climate action woefully insufficient to stop global warming and warned that the world is accelerating towards a 2.7 degrees Celsius future.