UN climate conference: Dozens of countries want to reduce methane

Status: 02.11.2021 3:44 p.m.

More than 80 countries have joined an initiative of the USA and EU in Glasgow to reduce the emission of the greenhouse gas methane by 30 percent by 2030. The US also presented an “aggressive” national plan.

At the World Climate Conference in Glasgow, more than 80 countries joined an EU and US initiative to reduce emissions of climate-damaging methane. “Reducing methane emissions is one of the most efficient things we can do,” said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Glasgow. She presented the pact together with US President Joe Biden.

Biden optimistic about exceeding target

According to a statement, the amount of greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere should be reduced by at least 30 percent by 2030. Methane is the second most harmful greenhouse gas and is responsible for global warming and air pollution. Biden said the 30 percent target could probably even be exceeded.

The signatories of the initiative, which was launched in September, include Great Britain, France, Canada, Israel and Japan. If the initiative is successfully implemented, global warming could be reduced by around 0.2 degrees by 2050, according to the EU Commission.

USA wants to seal boreholes

Biden also presented a national action plan to reduce methane emissions in the USA.

The environmental protection agency EPA is proposing expanded regulations for new oil and gas wells, said the White House. The states would be asked for the first time to develop plans to reduce methane emissions.

The Interior Ministry will launch an “aggressive program” to seal hundreds of thousands of disused oil and gas wells. Regulations for pipeline operators would be tightened to tackle methane leaks. In landfills, the emission of the climate-damaging gas should be severely limited.

Strongly responsible for global warming

Methane is produced, for example, in agriculture, in landfills or in the oil and gas industry. According to statistics from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) quoted by the EU Commission, methane is responsible for half of the previous global warming of around one degree Celsius compared to pre-industrial times.


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