30×30: More than 80 nations pledge to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030

November 3, 2021

On Tuesday, November 2, dozens of countries joined a United States and European Union pledge to cut emissions of methane—the most potent greenhouse gas—by 30% this decade, in the most significant climate commitment so far at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, Agence France-Presse reports.

The initiative, which experts say could have a powerful short-term impact on global warming, followed an announcement earlier Tuesday in which more than 100 nations agreed to end deforestation by 2030.

“One of the most important things we can do between now and 2030, to keep 1.5C in reach, is reduce our methane emissions as soon as possible,” said U.S. President Joe Biden, referring to the central goal of the 2015 Paris agreement.

Biden called the pledge, which has so far been signed by more than 80 nations, a “game-changing commitment” that covered countries responsible for around half of global methane emissions.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the methane cut would “immediately slow down climate change”.

“We cannot wait until 2050. We have to cut emissions fast and methane is one of the gases we can cut the fastest,” she said.

Organizers say the ensuing shuttle diplomacy and painstaking negotiation will be crucial for the continued viability of the 2015 Paris Agreement, and its goal to limit temperature rises to between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius.

While the summit’s first day passed with much rhetoric but only lukewarm climate pledges, Tuesday’s twin announcements were broadly welcomed by campaigners.

Research contact: @AFP

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