A new, first-of-its-kind report from Clean Air Task Force (CATF) identifies barriers standing in the way of critical funding for global methane mitigation and lays out recommendations for both funders and recipients to establish and execute this important climate funding stream.
“There’s a fundamental mismatch right now between the importance of cutting methane emissions, the major benefit to climate from doing so, and the funding available to do it,” said Jonathan Banks, Global Director, Methane Pollution Prevention at Clean Air Task Force. “Rapidly reducing methane emissions is required to keep global climate goals within reach, and it’s the best way climate funders can maximize the return on their investments in terms of degrees of warming avoided in the next 20 years. Yet current levels of international financing for methane mitigation fall woefully short of what we need. This new report identifies barriers to distributing these vital funds and provides recommendations that stakeholders across the methane mitigation financing chain can take to fix that mismatch.”
The report, Barriers and Solutions to Scaling-up Methane Finance, synthesizes responses from interviews with development bank representatives, donor governments, experts in key methane sectors, and other experts in development and climate finance. It identifies two types of funding barriers, “supply-side” and “demand-side.”
Methane is over 80 times more potent than CO2 during the first 20 years in the atmosphere, and methane emissions are rapidly rising. So too, has recognition of the issue. In 2021, the Global Methane Pledge reached 150 country signatories — including nearly 100 countries eligible for overseas development assistance — all committing to reduce collective methane emissions by 30% below 2020 levels by 2030. And earlier this year, countries and philanthropic organizations announced the Methane Finance Sprint, committing to raise at least $200 million in new funds for methane mitigation by COP28.
“The ambition to tackle methane emissions is growing. But it will take concerted changes by both funders and recipient countries to overcome the barriers identified in this report and ensure that the funds delivered are accessible and put to use to develop strong projects. The Sprint will be critical to get the ball rolling on financing methane mitigation, but it’s just the start of the finance marathon that is needed.”
To begin to overcome structural barriers to international methane mitigation financing, the report lays out several recommendations.
Funders and financial institutions should:
- Promote methane mitigation alongside development objectives
- Prioritize methane mitigation in funding activities
- Track methane mitigation impacts and financing distinctly within frameworks tracking greenhouse emissions and climate finance
- Share best practices to allow for widespread adoption
Those receiving funds, including developing countries, can:
- Promote coordination and planning on methane mitigation across government ministries and different levels of government
- Develop investable methane mitigation project pipelines
- Promote methane mitigation with supportive policies
Leading climate scientists and modelers have found that reducing methane pollution is the best way to reduce the amount of global warming the world will experience in the next 20 to 30 years, a critical timeframe for avoiding potentially irreversible climate tipping points. Using currently available technologies, methane emissions can be cut by at least 45% by 2030, enough to avoid 0.3 °C of warming by the 2040s. However, without adequate funding, particularly for mitigation in developing nations, deployment of these solutions will fall short.
Steve Reyes, Communications Manager, CATF, [email protected], +1 562-916-6463
About Clean Air Task Force
Clean Air Task Force (CATF) is a global nonprofit organization working to safeguard against the worst impacts of climate change by catalyzing the rapid development and deployment of low-carbon energy and other climate-protecting technologies. With 25 years of internationally recognized expertise on climate policy and a fierce commitment to exploring all potential solutions, CATF is a pragmatic, non-ideological advocacy group with the bold ideas needed to address climate change. CATF has offices in Boston, Washington D.C., and Brussels, with staff working virtually around the world. Visit catf.us and follow @cleanaircatf.