More than a hundred countries support the plan to significantly reduce greenhouse gas methane emissions by 2030. The so-called global methane pledge was closed Tuesday during the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland.
The Global Methane Pledge aims to reduce methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030 compared to 2020. The plan was launched in September by the European Union and the United States and has now been adopted by more than 100 countries.
“We cannot wait until 2050,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in Glasgow. “We need to reduce emissions quickly.” US President Joe Biden describes methane as “one of the most potent greenhouse gases.”
According to von der Leyen, reducing methane is “one of the most effective things we can do to reduce global warming in the short term.” She calls it the “hanging fruit” in tackling climate change.
Although there is more greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in the air, reducing methane is seen as a faster solution to global warming. This is because methane molecules have a much stronger effect on temperature rise than individual carbon dioxide molecules.
About 40 percent of methane emissions come from wetlands, peat meadows, and wetlands. However, most of it comes from human activities such as traffic, transportation, livestock, rice cultivation, and emissions from rotting landfills.
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Researchers see another major reason for so-called fracking, a technology used to extract gas in parts of the United States. This would be responsible for the acceleration of methane levels in the atmosphere since 2008.
Last August, the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Climate Panel said methane is responsible for much of the global warming that has already occurred. The same report also distinguished between methane from raising livestock and burning fossil fuels.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), emissions from livestock farming are recovered in vegetable feed eaten by animals in a relatively short period of time, and thus have less impact on climate change. Methane from fossil fuels is not part of this cycle and therefore remains active in the atmosphere for much longer.
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