Methane: More Potent, Less Persistent
- December 4, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Methane: More Potent, Less Persistent
Subject : Environment
Section: Int Conventions
- It is a potent climate pollutant. At the ongoing COP-28 climate summit in the United Arab Emirates, a group of well-endowed philanthropic bodies, including the Sequoia Climate Foundation and the Bezos Earth Fund, announced that they would collectively invest $450 million in solutions to tackle methane emissions.
- Methane is an organic compound. Its molecule consists of carbon and four hydrogen atoms (CH4).
- Methane is the second-biggest cause of global warming caused by anthropogenic activity after carbon dioxide and is 80 times more powerful.
- The GWP is a measure of the warming caused by a substance relative to that due to the same mass of carbon dioxide; the GWP100 measures this over a century at a time.
- If carbon dioxide has a GWP100 of 1, methane is 28, nitrous oxide is 265, and sulphur hexafluoride is 23,500.
- However, while carbon dioxide lasts for several decades at a time in the atmosphere before breaking down, methane breaks down in a matter of years. That is, it’s a short-lived climate pollutant.
- Its sources include cattle-farming, landfills, wastewater treatment facilities, rice cultivation, and some industrial processes.
- Energy, agriculture and waste sectors are the primary emitters of methane, responsible for 30 per cent of the earth’s warning.
Methane emission alert:
- The Methane Alert and Response System (MARS) notified governments of 127 plumes spanning four continents and identified 1,500 plumes in its pilot stage, according to the new report by UNEP.
Methane Alert anf Response System (MARS):
- Launched by the UNEP’s International Methane Emissions Observatory (IMEO) at COP27, Egypt.
- It is the first-ever global system that uses satellite data to monitor major emission events and notify governments and companies who can address them.
- IMEO, launched at the G20 Leaders Summit in 2021, gathers methane emissions-related from satellites through MARS and from industries through the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership 2.0. It also relies on scientific measurement studies.
- The Oil & Gas Methane Partnership 2.0 (OGMP 2.0) is UNEP’s flagship programme that includes a partnership of companies to improve the accuracy and transparency of methane emissions data from the oil and gas sector through a committed framework.
- Under the OGMP, a “Gold Standard” reporting is achieved once companies empirically reconcile measurements at source (Level 4) and site (Level 5) levels for the vast majority of their assets. 84 companies met the Gold Standard pathway criteria.
Global Methane Pledge
- The Global Methane Pledge was launched at the ongoing UN COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.
- So far, over 90 countries have signed this pledge, which is an effort led jointly by the United States and the European Union.
- Methane is the second-most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, after carbon dioxide, and, therefore, pledges related to cutting down its emissions are significant.
- The pledge was first announced in September by the US and EU, and is essentially an agreement to reduce global methane emissions. One of the central aims of this agreement is to cut down methane emissions by up to 30 per cent from 2020 levels by the year 2030.
- Among the signatories is Brazil — one of the five biggest emitters of methane, which is generated in cows’ digestive systems, in landfill waste and in oil and gas production.
- Three others —China, Russia and India — have not signed up.
- Australia has said it will not back the pledge.
- According to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, methane accounts for about half of the 1.0 degrees Celsius net rise in global average temperature since the pre-industrial era.