Britain promised to take the lead yesterday by opening an urgent second front against global warming, and one government is increasingly recognizing that it is the only way to keep it at an acceptable level.
Boris Johnson is the UK’s “first” signing of a new international pledge made by the United States and the European Union to reduce methane emissions, the number one cause, at a virtual summit hosted by Joe Biden on Friday. He said he would. The rate of climate change after carbon dioxide will be at least one-third over the next decade. Argentina, Mexico and Indonesia have also agreed to participate on Friday.
The Global Methane Pledge, officially launched at the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow in November, marks the greatest step in tackling climate emergencies in at least five years.
“The world can reduce this powerful greenhouse gas emission tomorrow, if desired,” he said. Cost-effective measures are widely available to both governments and individuals.
So far, gas has received little attention, despite causing one-third of global warming, but tackling it has far faster results than fighting CO2.
Atmospheric methane levels have doubled since 2018, with more than 80 times more powerful global heating than CO2 in 20 years.NS century. Some of the gas is naturally released from swamps, volcanoes and termites, but most comes from agriculture, garbage tips and the use of fossil fuels.
The Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, which is campaigning to reduce methane, is a waste that governments and businesses block leaks from oil and gas wells and pipelines, improve animal feed and send to landfills. It says that you can reduce the amount and people can make it makes a big difference by reducing meat intake, reducing and recycling food waste, and switching to electric cars and heat pumps.
This summer, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) said global average temperatures will exceed pre-industrial levels (the last boundary before global warming became a serious danger) by 1.5 ° C. I reported. ..
Governments are increasingly recognizing that reducing CO2 emissions, a strategy that has been overwhelmingly pursued, will not meet the need for this speed. Even radical reductions are not very effective in reducing global warming over the next 20 to 30 years, as gas, once released, remains in the atmosphere for hundreds of years.
To make matters worse, significantly reducing the use of fossil fuels is the main strategy for reducing CO2 and also reducing the emissions of sulfate aerosols that cool the atmosphere. Therefore, although essential to curb global warming in the long run, dominance strategies can exacerbate the situation in the next important decades.
In contrast, methane stays in the air for only about 10 years, so attacking methane has a much faster effect. It is now increasingly recognized that the IPCC report’s call for “strong, rapid and sustainable reductions in methane emissions” is the only viable way to keep the world below the 1.5 ° C hazard line. increase.
A huge report by the United Nations Environment Program and the Union of Intergovernmental Climate and Air Purification this spring states that “measures with available targets” will “reduce anthropogenic methane emissions by as much as 45% by 2030.” It was possible and therefore concluded that it would “almost avoid”. Warming of 0.3 ° C by the 2040s. “
It may be sufficient to prevent the most devastating effects of warming. And that’s not the only good news. It will also reduce air pollution.
Overall, the report states that such reductions “225,000 premature deaths each year, 775,000 asthma-related hospital visits, 73 billion hours of labor loss due to extreme heat, and 26 million tonnes of crops worldwide. Prevent loss. “
Even better, more than half of the available reductions cost little and can even make money. Burp and belching from 1.4 billion cattle worldwide account for 40% of emissions, but can be dramatically reduced by improving feed and nutrition. Consumers can also reduce their intake of beef and dairy products.
Fossil fuel production is an additional 25% responsible, but stopping leaks will actually make money for businesses. The public can also reduce demand by switching to clean energy sources.
The third largest contributor, the garbage dump, emits 14%. Governments, parliaments and businesses can especially reduce the landfill of organic waste and use the remaining methane as fuel. Families can help by reducing food waste and recycling or composting.
The Biden administration has already secured millions of dollars to fight methane, and White House sources intend it to work with the EU and individual nations “towards a collective global goal.” Is called.
Darwood Zarke, director of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, said: -Period of the year. “