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Accelerating Fast Mitigation: Summit on Methane and Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases
8 MINUTE READ
December 6, 2023

 

 

The United States, People’s Republic of China, and United Arab Emirates today convened a Summit to accelerate actions to cut methane and other non-CO2 greenhouse gases as the fastest way to reduce near-term warming and keep a goal of limiting global average temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach.

At the Summit, the United Arab Emirates announced a call to action for Parties to the Paris Agreement to submit 2035 nationally determined contributions that are economy-wide and cover all greenhouse gases, which is encouraged by the G20 Leaders Statement and echoes the U.S. and PRC commitments in the Sunnylands Statement.

Governments, philanthropies, and the private sector joined together to announce an unprecedented over $1 billion in new grant funding for methane reduction mobilized since COP27, which more than triples current annual grant funding and will leverage billions in project investment. Governments also reiterated their recent agreement to the largest ever replenishment of the Montreal Multilateral Fund with $965 million in funding to support Kigali Amendment implementation and energy efficiency.

Emissions of methane and other non-CO2 greenhouse gases, and their precursors, are responsible for over half of today’s warming, but they receive far less than half of global climate attention. These greenhouse gases—including methane, hydrofluorocarbons, nitrous oxide, and tropospheric ozone—are dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide.

To keep the goal of 1.5 degrees within reach and reduce the risk of breaching near-term tipping points, the world must take fast action on non-CO2 greenhouse gases, as an essential complement to the energy transition and ending deforestation. While CO2 will determine our long-term climate future, non-CO2 greenhouse gases have an outsized impact on near-term temperatures. Accelerated cuts to methane and non-CO2 gases could avoid up to 0.5 degrees of warming by 2050. Non-CO2 greenhouse gases also cause almost 500,000 deaths every year from respiratory illnesses and 5-7 percent of global crop losses at a time when global production is already strained. Rapidly reducing non-CO2 emissions is a three-in-one solution, advancing global climate, health, and food security objectives simultaneously.   

The Summit featured major new announcements to address methane, hydrofluorocarbons, and cooling:

Methane has contributed 30 percent of current warming. Reducing methane emissions by at least 30 percent by 2030 in line with the Global Methane Pledge could avoid over 0.2 degrees Celsius of warming by 2050, by far the fastest way to cool global temperatures.

  • At the Summit, governments, philanthropies, and the private sector joined together to announce an unprecedented over $1 billion in new grant funding for methane reduction mobilized since COP27 in support of the Methane Finance Sprint, which more than triples current annual grant funding and will leverage billions in project investment.
  • The United States announced final standards to sharply reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, which will achieve a nearly 80 percent reduction below future methane emissions expected without the rule and is expected to prevent the equivalent of 1.5 gigatons of CO2 emissions over the next 15 years. The United States is also planning a rulemaking to review and, if appropriate, revise its Clean Air Act emission standards for new and existing municipal solid waste landfills, and in 2024 will release updates on emissions estimates for municipal solid waste landfills.
  • Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Angola, Kenya, and Romania joined the Global Methane Pledge.
  • Kazakhstan announced cooperation with the United States to develop Kazakhstan’s national standards to eliminate non-emergency venting of methane and require leak detection and repair in the oil and gas sector as soon as possible before 2030, as part of a U.S.-Kazakhstan Joint Statement on Accelerating Methane Mitigation to Achieve the Global Methane Pledge.
  • Brazil announced that its National Council of Energy Policy will establish guidelines on methane reduction in the oil and gas sector by the end of 2024 and ANP aims to finalize regulations by the end of 2025 based on these guidelines.
  • Nigeria, as a Global Methane Pledge Champion, showcased its commitment to address methane from oil and gas and waste, including advancing projects it estimates will capture over half of all gas flaring volumes.

Further details and actions will be released alongside the Global Methane Pledge Ministerial on December 4.

Hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, are used in cooling and cause hundreds to thousands of times more warming than CO2. Action to reduce HFCs and increase cooling efficiency could reduce 0.1 degrees of warming by 2050 and avoid up to 0.5 degree Celsius of global temperature rise by 2100.

  • At the Summit, the United Arab Emirates announced their intention to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which tackles HFCs.
  • Governments reiterated their recent agreement to the largest ever replenishment of the Montreal Multilateral Fund with $965 million in funding to support Kigali Amendment implementation and energy efficiency.
  • Governments welcomed the imminent launch of the Global Cooling Pledge, a landmark COP28 initiative to reduce global cooling-related emissions across all sectors and to increase access to sustainable cooling substantially by 2030.

For further information, please contact climatecomms@state.gov