The United States and the European Union are seeking a global agreement to cut documents related to the greenhouse gas methane

The United States and the European Union are seeking a global agreement to cut documents related to the greenhouse gas methane

BRUSSELS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and the European Union have agreed to cut greenhouse gas methane emissions by about a third by the end of this decade and encourage other major economies to join. According to documents seen by Reuters.

Their agreement comes as Washington and Brussels look to boost other major economies ahead of a global summit to tackle climate change in Glasgow, Scotland, in November, and could have a major impact on the energy, agricultural and waste industries. Responsible for most of the methane. emissions.

Methane, the second biggest cause of climate change after carbon dioxide, is gaining attention as governments seek solutions to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, one of the goals of the Paris climate agreement.

In an effort to get the job started, the United States and the European Union will make a joint commitment later this week to cut human-made methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030, compared to 2020 levels, according to Global Methane. drought. Promise seen by Reuters.

“The shorter lifespan of methane in the atmosphere means that taking action now can rapidly reduce the rate of global warming,” the draft said.

A separate document listed more than two dozen countries targeted by the United States and the European Union to join the pledge. These include major emitters such as China, Russia, India, Brazil and Saudi Arabia, as well as others such as Norway, Qatar, Great Britain, New Zealand and South Africa.

The US State Department declined to comment and the European Commission did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the documents.

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The agreement is likely to be unveiled on Friday at a meeting of major emitting economies with the aim of rallying support ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow.

World leaders are under pressure from scientists, environmentalists and a growing popular sentiment for more ambitious measures to curb climate change in Glasgow.

Methane has a greater heat-holding capacity than carbon dioxide, but it degrades more quickly in the atmosphere, so “strong, rapid and sustainable reductions” in methane emissions and reductions in carbon dioxide emissions can have a rapid impact on the climate, a fact confirmed by A report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last month.

Experts say the fossil fuel sector has the greatest potential to reduce methane emissions this decade by repairing leaky pipelines or gas storage facilities, and many of these repairs can be done at low cost.

However, satellite images and infrared snapshots from recent years have shown methane emissions from oil and gas sites in countries including: Mexico and the United States of America. Read more

The United States and the European Union will propose laws this year to reduce methane emissions.

The draft said the US and EU commitment would cover major sources of methane emissions, including leaky oil and gas infrastructure, old coal mines, agriculture and waste such as landfills.

Adhering countries commit to the pledge to take domestic action to jointly achieve the goal of methane reduction, “with an emphasis on standards to achieve all possible reductions in the energy and waste sectors” and to reduce agricultural emissions through “technological innovation, as well as incentives and partnerships with farmers.”

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(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici) Editing by Christopher Cushing, Leslie Adler and Sonia Hipstel

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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