After carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the United States and the European Union (EU) have reached an agreement to regulate methane gas emissions. By 2030, methane gas emissions are to be reduced by 30%.
Methane gas is considered a primary cause of climate change in the short term, not CO2 in the long run. CO2 is a greenhouse gas over the long term, causing global warming over the long run.
The extent of methane emissions must be drastically reduced in order to prevent global warming. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on the 14th (local time) that U.S. and European officials have agreed on such a target.
When formalized and major countries participate, this will be the first global agreement on reducing methane emissions.
Methane traps much more heat in the atmosphere than CO2, although its spread is less extensive than that of CO2. Scientists estimate that the greenhouse effect of methane is at least 25 times stronger than that of CO2.
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emphasized last month that reducing methane emissions would slow climate change most effectively and immediately.
According to sources, the agreement, referred to as the “Global Methane Pledge,” does not set specific targets for individual countries, but globally aims to reduce global methane emissions by at least 30 percent by 2030 compared with last year. Even though this flexible agreement is unclear in how well it will work, it is profound that this first step was taken.
U.S. and British officials have agreed on the pledge, which is expected to be announced by U.S. President Biden at an online climate summit on the 17th.
Both sides are working behind the scenes to get China and Russia, as well as other major countries and oil and gas companies, to sign the pledge. At the international climate agreement discussion in Glasgow, Scotland, in November, concrete plans should be announced.
Since the Paris climate agreement negotiations in 2016, the methane agreement has gained momentum.