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Current Affairs

Global methane pledge

Date: 08 November 2021 Tags: Climate Change

Issue

Countries participating in ongoing UN COP 26 climate conference in Glasgow have launched Global Methane Pledge.

 

Background

Global Methane Pledge is a joint effort by the United States and the European Union. More than 90 countries have signed this pledge.

 

Details

  • Cutting down on methane emissions is significant as it is the second-most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, after carbon dioxide.

  • The pledge is an agreement to reduce global methane emissions. The central goal is to cut down methane emissions by up to 30 per cent from 2020 levels by the year 2030.

  • The IPCC report says that methane is responsible for about half of the 1.0 degrees Celsius net rise in global average temperature since the pre-industrial era.

  • To reduce global warming, it is necessary that methane, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are reduced.

  • This will keep the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach.

 

Methane

  • Methane is a greenhouse gas that is a part of natural gas. About 25 percent of global warming is caused due to emission of methane gas.

  • Methane is responsible for increase in temperature of Earth’s atmosphere. Methane is emitted naturally and also due to human activities.

  • Landfills, agricultural activities, oil and natural gas systems, wastewater treatment, coal mining, and certain industrial processes are human sources of methane emission.

  • Anthropogenic sources are responsible for 60 per cent of global methane emissions. The oil and gas sectors are among the largest emitters.

 

Significance of methane control

  • Methane has comparatively lesser atmospheric lifetime (12 years) in comparison to CO2. However, methane absorbs more energy and has higher greenhouse gas potential.

  • Research has shown that global warming potential of methane is 80 times greater than carbon dioxide.

  • The current existing technology has the potential to cut more than 75 per cent of methane emissions. About 40 per cent of this can be done at no additional costs.