Climate change and global warming have been a major concerns over the past years. The greenhouse gas emissions released due to human activities build up in the atmosphere and lead to warming the climate, which inturn become reason of many other changes in the atmosphere, in the oceans or on land, across the globe. Seeing the changing climate, EU and United States have jointly launched The Global Methane Pledge to limit methane emissions.
What is the Global Methane Pledge?
The Global Methane Pledge has been launched on 2nd November 2021 at the ongoing UN COP26 climate conference in Glasgow. More than 90 countries have signed this pledge, which is a collaboratively led effort by the United States and the European Union. Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases and responsible for a third of current warming from human activities. The aim of Global Methane Pledge is to limit methane emissions by 30% compared with 2020 levels.
What is Methane?
- Methane is a greenhouse gas and a component of natural gas. Its presence in the atmosphere increases the temperature on Earth.
- Methane is present into atmosphere due to various human and natural sources.
- It is reported that human sources are responsible for approx. 60 percent of the global methane emissions, out of which the largest contributor is Oil & gas sectors.
How Methane impacts global temperature?
- As a report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, methane is responsible for approx. half of the 1.0 degrees Celsius total increase in global average temperature in comparison to pre-industrial era.
- According to United Nations, methane is the reason for 25 percent of the warming experienced by the world today. As methane is a greenhouse gas, its presence in the atmosphere leads to increasing the temperature of Earth.
- As per the US Environmental Protection Agency various human and natural sources are responsible for methane emission, including agricultural activities, landfills, several industrial processes, oil and natural gas systems, wastewater treatment and coal mining.
International Energy Agency (IEA)’s Methane Tracker 2021
- IEA states that reducing methane emissions is a cost-effective and powerful way to act on climate change, in addition to actions on reducing CO2.
- As per the IEA’s Key insights from the 2020 estimates, In the year 2020 oil and gas operations worldwide emitted over 70 Mt of methane into the atmosphere. The methane emissions figure for 2020 is approx 10% less than IEA’s estimate for the year 2019.
- Oil production is worldwide responsible for approx. 40% of methane emissions today, with leaks across the natural gas value chain responsible for the remaining 60%.
- The IEA says that over 75 per cent of methane emissions can be mitigated using today’s technology, and that up to 40 per cent of this can be accomplished at no additional costs.