In news: A Global Methane Assessment by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has been released.
- More than half of global methane emissions stem from human activities in three sectors: fossil fuels (35 percent of human-caused emissions), waste (20 percent) and agriculture (40 percent).
- Currently available measures could reduce emissions from these major sectors by approximately 180 Mt/yr, or as much as 45 per cent, by 2030.
- Such reductions would avoid nearly 0.3°C of global warming by 2045.
- This would be consistent with keeping the Paris Climate Agreement’s goal to limit global temperature rise to 1.5˚C within reach.
- Mitigation potential from all measures is expected to increase between 2030 and 2050, especially in the fossil fuel and waste sectors.
- The potential strategies that would be adopted include-
- Reduce emissions from the oil and gas sector by promoting renewables
- Improved treatment and disposal of solid waste
- Reducing food waste and loss, improving livestock management, and the adoption of healthy diets.
- Methane, a short-lived climate pollutant (SLCP) is a potent greenhouse gas tens of times more powerful than carbon dioxide at warming the atmosphere.
- Methane’s atmospheric concentration has more than doubled since pre-industrial times and is second only to carbon dioxide in driving climate change during the industrial era.
- It contributes to the formation of ground-level ozone, a dangerous air pollutant.
- Methane’s short atmospheric lifetime means taking action now can quickly reduce atmospheric concentrations and result in rapid reductions in ozone pollution.