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World leaders in Global Methane Pledge

By Vanora Bennett

Addressing one of the main causes of greenhouse gas emissions from human activity, world leaders are committing “to collectively reduce global anthropogenic methane emissions across all sectors by at least 30 per cent below 2020 levels by 2030”.

The Global Methane Pledge was signed by President of the United States of America Joe Biden, European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen and other world leaders at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow today.

President Odile Renaud-Basso endorsed the declaration on behalf of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), saying: “The Bank is supporting the economies in which it invests in increasing their environmental sustainability, including by supporting methane abatement across the agribusiness, waste and energy sectors. We are committed to working closely with the signatories of the Global Methane Pledge to help achieve the important target it sets.”

To achieve the 30 per cent reduction target, the signatories commit to “comprehensive domestic action”, focusing on the energy and waste sectors. The declaration also supports the abatement of agricultural emissions through technological innovation, as well as incentives and partnerships with farmers.

The approach will be complemented by the adoption of good practice in line with Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change guidance and the exchange of transparent information and support for similar international initiatives to reduce methane emissions, such as the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, the Global Methane Initiative and the United Nations Environment Programme. Technical and policy work will underpin participants’ domestic actions.

Methane is the primary contributor to the formation of ground-level ozone, a hazardous air pollutant and greenhouse gas. It has accounted for roughly 30 per cent of global warming since the pre-industrial era and is proliferating faster than at any other time since records began in the 1980s, according to the United Nations Environment Programme.

Anthropogenic emission sources of methane gas include landfill, oil and natural gas systems, agricultural activities, coal mining, stationary and mobile combustion, wastewater treatment and certain industrial processes.

The EBRD has been at the forefront of efforts to reduce methane gas emissions. The Bank has historically financed projects of around €650 million per year in sub-sectors that are directly responsible for the vast majority of methane emissions, including energy and natural resources, municipal infrastructure and agribusiness.

The Bank combines investments with policy engagement and technical assistance, leading, for instance, on multi-year methane emission reduction programmes in the gas sectors of economies in which it invests, such as Kazakhstan and Ukraine. The EBRD is also working with international partners – including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – to promote best agriculture and farming practices.  


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