Nearly 90 countries have joined a U.S. and EU led effort to slash emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane 30% by 2030 from 2020 levels, a pact aimed at tackling one of the main causes of climate change, a senior Biden administration official said.
The partnership will be formally launched later on Tuesday.
Methane is the main greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide. It has a higher heat-trapping potential than CO2 but breaks down in the atmosphere faster – meaning that cutting methane emissions can have a rapid impact on reining in global warming.
The Global Methane Pledge, which was first announced in September, now includes half of the top 30 methane emitters accounting for two-thirds of the global economy, according to the Biden administration official.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has been accused of a “cop out” on commitments made at Cop26 before “the ink is dry on the agreement”. At the climate conference in Glasgow Ireland signed up to a global pledge to limit methane emissions by 30% compared with 2020 levels. But the Government has indicated that the pledge will not be included in Ireland’s forthcoming carbon budgets, which will target a 10% cut in methane, as well as larger reductions in other gas emissions.
Among the new signatories that will be announced on Tuesday is Brazil – one of the world’s five biggest emitters of methane. China, Russia and India, also top-five methane emitters, have not signed on to the pledge. Those countries were all included on a list identified as targets to join the pledge, previously reported by Reuters.