20+ Countries to Join Global Methane Pact

In pursuit of saving the planet from imminent danger, governments’ crackdown on methane to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is much needed.

  • Methane may be contributing far more to climate change than previously thought
    Methane may be contributing far more to climate change than previously thought

According to Reuters, two dozen countries have joined an environmental effort by the US and the UK to cut down emissions by 30% by 2030, pushing the emerging global partnership forward ahead of its launch at the UN climate summit in Glasgow later this month.

Nigeria, Japan, and Pakistan are among the 24 new signatories to join the Global Methane Pledge, which was first announced by the United States and EU in September with the aim of pushing rapid climate action forward before the start of the Scotland Summit on October 31. It could significantly affect the energy, agriculture, and waste sectors, considering that they are responsible for the bulk of methane emissions.

Nine original partners, including Britain, Indonesia, and Mexico, signed the Pledge when it was announced last month. The partnership will now cover 60% of global GDP and 30% of global methane emissions.

A government official, who declined to be named, said the involved countries represent a range of different methane emissions profiles. The main source of methane emissions in Pakistan, for example, is agriculture, while Indonesia's main source is waste.

Several countries most vulnerable to climate change impacts, including some African nations and island nations like Micronesia, have also signed the pledge.

Ahead of the UN climate summit, the US is set to urge other major emerging economy methane emitters, like India and China, to join the Pledge

Why methane?

It is worth noting that methane is a greenhouse gas and the biggest cause of climate change after carbon dioxide. Several recent reports have highlighted the need for governments to crack down on methane to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, which is the goal of the Paris climate agreement.

Methane has a higher heat-trapping potential than CO2 but breaks down in the atmosphere faster. Thus, a strong, rapid, and sustained reduction in methane emissions, in addition to slashing CO2 emissions, could have an immediate impact on the climate.