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Methane Pollution

Uniting the world to #CutMethane

Hidden methane emissions Methane flare

It’s time to address the invisible threat of methane pollution

CATF is hosting a methane-focused pavilion at COP26 in collaboration with some of the leading global environmental groups. The goal of the pavilion is to elevate the conversation on cutting methane and promote the first ever Global Methane Pledge. Learn more about our role and agenda at COP26.

When it comes to quickly slowing the rate of global climate change, no other single action can compare to reducing oil and gas methane emissions

  • Human-caused methane pollution is responsible for more than 50% of Earth’s warming today, and the oil and gas sector is among the largest sources of these emissions globally.
  • Methane is a greenhouse gas that traps over 80 times more heat in our atmosphere than carbon dioxide over the first 20 years. This means acting now to reduce methane pollution is critical in order to stay below the 1.5°C warming target.

Paving the way for the Global Methane Pledge

The recently announced, first ever Global Methane Pledge is part of CATF’s global methane reduction strategy. It’s time to engage at all levels and demand that more countries sign the pledge.

Sarah Smith, CATF’s Super Pollutants Program Director, highlights the role Clean Air Task Force played in nurturing this first-of-its-kind global effort to tackle methane pollution.

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Why is it important to focus on reducing methane pollution?

When you hear ‘methane pollution’ you may immediately think of agriculture and livestock. While those are significant, they are often much more difficult to mitigate. As a priority, CATF is focused on the quickest, most impactful mitigation strategies, and that means smarter regulations for the oil and gas sector.

Strong policies to address global methane pollution from any fuels produced, consumed, imported or exported will help ensure that the world stays below the 1.5°C warming target.

The risk of inaction:

Methane levels have been rising faster than anticipated under the Paris Climate Agreement, pushing the world closer to irreversible climate tipping points.

The Global Methane Pledge is a good start, but action needs to follow

Led by the EU and U.S., the Global Methane Pledge is the first ever global political commitment recognizing the dangers to the climate from methane.

In partnership with some of the leading global environmental groups, CATF has developed a methane focused pavilion in the Blue Zone at COP26 to elevate the conversation on cutting methane pollution.

The Pledge is just the start. Now it’s the time to turn commitments into rapid action:

1. How the EU can tackle emissions

CATF advocates for smart methane policies that can reduce emissions in Europe and around the world. This year, we have finally seen methane grab headlines. Now that the problem is on everyone’s radar, what can be done about it?

Check out our five areas of recommendations on methane policy.

2. What the U.S. should do next

To tackle climate change, we must dramatically reduce methane emissions in the U.S. The oil and gas sector is the largest human-caused source of methane in the U.S. If we want to stay below 1.5°C in warming, we must reduce methane emissions from the fossil fuel sector by 65% globally, according to the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC). Using currently available technology, the U.S. can do its part to meet this global imperative, achieving a 65% reduction of methane from oil and gas by 2025.

Read more about the path to substantial methane reductions.

What needs to be done to address the methane challenge?

We’re at 1.1 C now, and reducing methane from oil and gas and other sectors around the world would prevent nearly 0.3°C of warming by the 2040s.

At CATF, we are working to provide guidance and develop policy solutions.

  • Specialized Equipment: Methane pollution is invisible to the naked eye, so a special camera is needed to monitor for leaks and emissions. Optical gas imaging (OGI) cameras are powerful handheld scientific instruments that are used in the oil and gas sector to visualize methane pollution that is being released into the atmosphere. Our experts have been documenting methane emissions across hundreds of oil and gas sites across the EU. Learn more about our Cut Methane EU Campaign.
Camera used to film hidden methane emissions
  • Utilizing Existing Technology: Existing technologies and best maintenance practices can dramatically slash oil and gas methane emissions at low cost, but many companies have not adopted these common sense measures. Regulations are needed to ensure that all operators are taking steps to reduce emissions. CATF has developed the Country Methane Abatement Tool to help countries estimate how much methane pollution can be reduced from their oil and gas industries. Explore CoMAT
  • Low Cost Solutions: The availability of low-cost technology combined with the relatively few companies and countries with oil and gas production creates an unprecedented opportunity to reduce warming now, and buy the world time to cut CO₂ emissions that warm our planet over the longer term.

Join the movement to #CutMethane
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