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The World Needs To Spend Significantly More On Methane Emissions Reduction

Despite numerous national and supra-national pledges for swift actions to cut emissions of methane—a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide – global investment in methane emission reduction is just a fraction of what the world needs to keep temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius, a new report showed on Thursday.

The world needs to overcome several key barriers to scale up financing to fight methane emissions, the report by the environmental group Clean Air Task Force (CATF) found.

Globally, as much as $119 billion is needed each year in the agriculture, energy, and waste sectors to keep global temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius, per climate finance experts Climate Policy Initiative, the authors of the CATF report note. However, the current levels of spending on cutting methane emissions are just 10% of this sum. The gap in financing is a massive $107 billion each year.

“While there is a role for regulation to spur methane investments, for many developing countries, international financial support is needed to overcome barriers to private sector investment,” the authors wrote.

“Current levels of international financing for methane mitigation fall woefully short of what we need,” Jonathan Banks, a global director at the Clean Air Task Force, told Bloomberg.

Methane, the second-most abundant anthropogenic greenhouse gas, accounts for around 20 percent of global emissions and is more than 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide (CO2) at trapping heat in the atmosphere, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Methane is both a powerful greenhouse gas and short-lived compared to CO2, which means that targeted reductions of methane emissions could have a greater short-term impact on slowing warming, experts say. 

While most efforts have been focused on reducing methane emissions in the energy sector, there is also an “insufficient volume of funding targeting waste and agriculture sectors,” the Clean Air Task Force report says.

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In the U.S., the Inflation Reduction Act has earmarked $1.55 billion in financial and technical assistance to reduce methane emissions from the petroleum and natural gas sector.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Steve Case on July 01 2023 said:
    We are told that, pound for pound, methane is so many times more powerful than CO2 at trapping heat. Twenty-five times in this story. But how much global warming methane is going to produce and by when is never mentioned. Climate science doesn&#039;t say and policy makers never ask.

    Methane is in the air at about 1800 parts per billion and is increasing about 7 parts per billion annually. If anyone claims that&#039;s on track to produce more than 0.1 Celsius degrees of warming by 2100, they should pipe up and show their work.

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