The Global Methane Pledge was launched in 2021 and signed by 149 countries and the European Union. It aims to reduce global anthropogenic methane emissions by 30% in 2030 compared to 2020 levels. However, the pledge does not specify the contribution of countries or methane-emitting sectors (fossil fuel production, agriculture and waste) to achieve this global goal.

Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) describe countries’ climate change commitments, and 86% of countries include methane within the scope of these targets; in this paper, the authors examine whether the NDCs thus offer a way to help move from pledges to action to reduce methane.

The authors note that 476 methane-focused mitigation actions within the 168 NDCs analysed are targeted in countries and sectors that emit approximately 40% of global methane. These mitigation actions are not specified in NDCs with implementation targets and timelines that are currently collectively sufficient to achieve the goal in the global pledge. However, the authors note that if all 476 mitigation actions are implemented to their maximum technical mitigation potential, their implementation could reduce global emissions by roughly 31%. They conclude, therefore, that mitigation actions in NDCs could achieve the GMP goal, but only if implemented to their fullest possible extent.

They note that there are also multiple opportunities to increase methane mitigation ambition further. Additional commitments to implement technical methane mitigation measures could lead to mitigation in excess of the goal contained in the global pledge. For example, behavioural measures, such as dietary shifts and reduction in waste generation could further reduce methane.