Momentum builds for action on global methane emissions
G20 leaders endorse action on methane; UN launches International Methane Emissions Observatory
ROME — Today, leaders of the G20 countries officially backed calls to cut global methane emissions as a matter of extreme urgency.
The official communique from the Leaders Summit stated:
“We acknowledge that methane emissions represent a significant contribution to climate change and recognize, according to national circumstances, that its reduction can be one of the quickest, most feasible and most cost-effective ways to limit climate change and its impacts.”
This creates some high-level momentum ahead of the official launch of the Global Methane Pledge at COP26 in Glasgow on November 2nd. More than 60 countries now support the Pledge, which commits to a 30% worldwide reduction of methane by 2030.
“Cutting methane pollution is fast becoming a focal point of global climate policy,” said Sarah Smith, Program Director, Super Pollutants at Clean Air Task Force (CATF). “The more support the Global Methane Pledge gets at COP, the better. Once countries are committed, CATF and other NGOs, scientists and policy experts working on reducing methane emissions are ready is ready to roll up our sleeves and help them collect more data, ban harmful practices, and implement the technological changes needed to clean up methane pollution this decade.”
Despite justified criticism on the lack of progress towards cutting domestic coal investment, there were positive developments for the climate agenda at the G20 summit. The strong language on methane pollution and the concurrent U.S.-EU announcement on potentially including carbon intensity measures into the global trade steel and aluminium, in particular, are worth noting.
In addition, the UN Environment Programme has launched the International Methane Emissions Observatory (IMEO) in order to improve the reporting accuracy and public transparency of human- caused methane emissions. IMEO will initially focus on methane emissions from the fossil fuel sector, and then expand to other major emitting sectors like agriculture and waste.
“The IMEO launch is a welcome piece of the puzzle in the effort to cut methane pollution,” said Armond Cohen, Executive Director of Clean Air Task Force. “We are beginning to see a truly international effort to tackle methane take shape – an effort that is the best chance we have to significantly slow warming in the next 20 years. It is, however, crucial to remember that good data and lofty ambitions are just the start. Countries must build on the momentum to put in place concrete policy measures that will cut methane emissions.”
Leading climate scientists have found that reducing methane emissions is required to keep the planet from warming beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius, helping to prevent irreversible tipping points.
COP26 is a critical moment for the climate, and CATF will be there to advocate on the world’s biggest stage for the changes required to tackle climate change — including pushing the next generation of carbon-free technologies into the marketplace and highlighting the importance of cutting methane emissions at the world’s first-ever COP pavilion devoted to methane.
Rowan Emslie, Communications Director, Europe, [email protected], +44 7466-674738
About Clean Air Task Force
Clean Air Task Force (CATF) is a non-profit organization working to safeguard against the worst impacts of climate change by catalyzing the rapid global development and deployment of low-carbon energy and other climate-protecting technologies. We work towards these objectives through research and analysis, public advocacy leadership, and partnership with the private sector. With nearly 25 years of nationally and internationally recognized expertise on clean air policy and regulations and a fierce commitment to fully exploring all potential solutions. CATF is headquartered in Boston, with staff working virtually around the U.S. and abroad.