World leaders pledge to cut methane emissions by 30%

World leaders have pledged to cut methane emission levels by 30% by 2030 at the COP26 event in Glasgow.

The Global Methane Pledge is an international initiative put forward by the US and EU to reduce methane emissions to help slow global warming. The pledge is to cut methane emissions from human activity by 30% against 2020 levels by 2030. Dozens of countries have joined the initiative; however, China, Russia, and India – all major methane emitters – have not.

In a statement released ahead of COP26, Charlotte Morton, chief executive of the World Biogas Association (WBA), noted the ‘progressive agreement’ that is the EU-US-led Global Methane Pledge.

“To deliver it will require treating the over 100 billion tonnes of organic wastes produced by human activity every year, across agriculture, food waste, food manufacture, and wastewater,” said Morton.

“With that in mind, we must develop a strategy that enables our sector to deliver its full potential across all sectors and geographies. A blueprint for rapid roll-out will increasingly be demanded in the next couple of years and, as the industry experts, we need to be proactive in preparing for a decade of delivery.”

A previous joint US-EU statement highlighted biomethane and anaerobic specifically as avenues to be explored as a way of cutting methane emissions.

"The European Commission is also working to accelerate the uptake of mitigation technologies through the wider deployment of ‘carbon farming’ in EU Member States and through their Common Agricultural Policy Strategic Plans, and to promote biomethane production from agricultural waste and residues," the release said.

"At the President’s urging and in partnership with US farmers and ranchers, the US Department of Agriculture is working to significantly expand the voluntary adoption of climate-smart agriculture practices that will reduce methane emissions from key agriculture sources by incentivising the deployment of improved manure management systems, anaerobic digesters, new livestock feeds, composting, and other practices. The US Congress is considering supplemental funding that would support many of these efforts."

Charlotte Morton will be presenting the case for anaerobic digestion and biogas to global leaders in the exclusive ‘blue zone’ at COP26 – a reflection of the work the WBA has done in positioning the sector as a critical solution to climate change and other environmental issues through the association’s lobbying and landmark reports.

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