Reducing human-caused methane emissions is one of the most cost-effective strategies to rapidly reduce the rate of warming and contribute significantly to global efforts to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C. Available targeted methane measures, together with additional measures that contribute to priority development goals, can simultaneously reduce human-caused methane emissions by as much as 45%, or 180 million tonnes a year (Mt/yr) by 2030. This will avoid nearly 0.3°C of global warming by the 2040s and complement all long-term climate change mitigation efforts. It would also, each year, prevent 255 000 premature deaths, 775 000 asthma-related hospital visits, 73 billion hours of lost labour from extreme heat, and 26 million tonnes of crop losses globally.
The findings in this assessment are the result of modelling that uses five state-of-the-art global climate models to evaluate changes in the Earth’s climate system and surface ozone concentrations, following reductions in methane emissions. Modelling results enable the rapid evaluation of the impacts from methane emissions, and the benefits from mitigation strategies to the climate and ground-level ozone formation, air quality, public health, agricultural and other development benefits.
The assessment results are also available in a web-based decision support tool that allows users to input different methane emission reduction goals to calculate the multiple benefits at a national level.
The Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) is an international partnership working to protect the climate and improve air quality through actions to reduce short-lived climate pollutants, including methane, black carbon, tropospheric ozone, and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The Coalition has 71 state partners and 78 non-state partners. On methane, it has initiatives in all three major emitting sectors: oil and gas, waste, and agriculture. The Coalition’s Secretariat is hosted by UNEP.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.