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The United States and the European Union seek a global commitment to reduce methane emissions by 2030

The agreement calls for a 30% reduction in man-made emissions of methane worldwide, a potent greenhouse gas.

As I mentioned before Wall Street magazineUS and European Union officials are working to craft a deal to cut global methane emissions by about a third by 2030, prompting many of the world’s largest economies to join them, some informed sources say.

Global Methane Pledge

The agreement represents the first global commitment to reduce emissions of methane, a gas less common than carbon dioxide in the atmosphere but more effective at trapping heat. Dubbed the Global Methane Pledge, the agreement does not require country-specific targets, but does require signatories to support efforts to reduce global human-made methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030 compared to 2020 levels, one of the sources said.

Friday announcement

US and European Union officials approved the deal and plan to announce their commitments Friday at a virtual climate summit hosted by President Biden ahead of the United Nations General Assembly next week, another person familiar with the initiative says.

Commitment to engage China, Russia and other major producers

They said officials are working to persuade China, Russia and other major oil and gas producers to join the commitment as a cornerstone of international climate talks to be held in Glasgow, Scotland in November, according to various sources. Reuters previously reported on the deal.

Why methane?

Scientists have estimated that the properties of methane as a heat-retaining greenhouse gas are at least 25 times stronger than those of carbon dioxide. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations body, said in August that reducing methane emissions would be one of the most effective and immediate ways to slow climate change.

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Targeted policies to reduce methane emissions could fall further on oil and gas companies, among the main sources. Methane can escape into the atmosphere from leaks at drilling and storage sites or as it travels through millions of miles of pipelines on its way to customers, including power plants and homeowners who heat with natural gas. The agricultural and waste management industries are also important sources of methane emissions.

What does the Environmental Protection Agency do in the United States?

In conjunction with the deal, EPA officials are working to define new rules under the Clean Air Act aimed at cutting methane leakage from US oil and natural gas production facilities. New provisions are expected early this fall, and are likely to include more inspection or monitoring techniques to prevent and stop leaks.

(Extract from Foreign Press Review by Epr Communicazione)

Earl Warner

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