Oil refinery flare stack

Oil refinery flare stack. Photo: georgeclerk / E+

Methane is a greenhouse gas that has a climate change impact many times stronger than CO₂ per metric ton of emission. More than half of global methane emissions arise from human activities and 95% of these emissions come from three sectors: agriculture, fossil fuels and waste. Cutting methane emissions from these sectors has many benefits, not only for mitigating climate change, but also for reducing air pollution and improving human health.

In response to the Global Methane Pledge, Dr Johan C.I Kuylenstierna , Research Leader at SEI York and co-author of the UNEP / CCAC Global Methane Assessment, says:

“It is important to address methane emissions as it is the only way we can reduce global warming in the near term. The Global Methane Pledge is a good start and is just compatible with the achievement of the 1.5°C goal, but the Global Methane Assessment identified that we have the ability to reduce methane emissions by 10% more than what is set out in the Pledge, which will more firmly ensure that we shift into a 1.5°C pathway. One way to make sure of this is for all major emitters to sign up to the Pledge, including China and Russia.

It is important that this Global Methane Pledge is taken in addition to substantial reductions in CO₂ and not instead of it. The science is clear: we cannot achieve a 1.5°C pathway without reducing methane emissions. At the same time, we cannot achieve it without large reductions in CO₂, other greenhouse gases and black carbon as well.”