Home Politics Methane comes entrance and heart in local weather change coverage

Methane comes entrance and heart in local weather change coverage


By Barry G. Rabe

Climate scientists have long recognized methane as “carbon dioxide on steroids,” a short-lived but highly intensive climate pollutant that possesses more than 80 times the warming power of carbon during its first two decades in the atmosphere. It is responsible for at least one-quarter of the global warming that has already occurred and aggressive reductions over coming decades could moderate future temperature rises.

And yet, until recently, methane has remained far less prominent than carbon in climate policy. But significant change appears to be on the way, including a proliferation of corporate and governmental reduction pledges from the oil and gas sector. Most significantly, in late 2021 the United States and European Union unveiled a Global Methane Pledge, seeking 30% reductions globally by 2030 from 2020 levels of human-caused releases across oil and gas as well as other major sectors such as livestock, agriculture, coal mining, and waste. This new framework secured 103 initial national pledges, complementing the Paris carbon framework and Kigali hydrofluorocarbon regime.

The Global Methane Pledge represents an initial international effort to address methane. Its now-150 members support a…

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