The US and the European Union have agreed to try and cut emissions of the planet-warming gas methane by about one-third by the end of this decade.

In the light of the reported agreement, the US and the EU will look to convince other key economies to join in ahead of a COP26 Glasgow world summit on climate change in November. The US and the EU believe that the pledge and the upcoming summit could change the way the energy, agriculture, and waste industries responsible for the bulk of methane emissions operate.

The reported draft of the agreement, dubbed the Global Methane Pledge, said, “The short atmospheric lifetime of methane means that taking action now can rapidly reduce the rate of global warming.”

The pledge would address curtailing the key sources of methane emissions, including old coal mines, agriculture, and waste such as landfills.

The US and EU hope that the signatories of the agreement would agree to formulate domestic policy to collectively achieve the targeted methane cut. The draft pact urges countries to tackle methane by “focusing on standards to achieve all feasible reductions in the energy and waste sectors” and by cutting down agricultural emissions through “technology innovation as well as incentives and partnerships with farmers.”

In order to galvanize the action against climate change, the US and the EU hope to announce a joint pledge later this week to reduce human-caused methane emissions by at least 30 per cent by 2030, in comparison with the 2020 emission levels.

A separate document associated with the Global Methane Pledge listed over two dozen economies that the US and the EU will urge to join in. The list includes big methane polluters such as China, Russia, India, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia. The list also includes Norway, Qatar, Britain, New Zealand, and South Africa.

The US State Department has refused to comment on the reports of the said agreement while the European Commission is yet to respond to a request for comment on the documents.

It is reported that the Global Methane Pledge is will be revealed on Friday at a meeting where the big economies would look to gather support ahead of the COP26 Glasgow summit on climate change.

The global leadership is under relentless pressure from scientists, environmental advocates, and the young generation to commit to a more ruthless course of action to contain the very real environmental crisis.

Earlier last month, a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said that Methane has a higher heat-trapping potential than carbon dioxide; however, it breaks down in the atmosphere faster. Therefore, “strong, rapid and sustained reductions” in methane emissions will quickly improve the climate, along with cutting down on the CO2 emissions.

The greenhouse gas methane is considered to be the biggest cause of climate change followed by carbon dioxide. The world governments have been under pressure to limit global warming to 1.5C, one of the chief goals of the Paris climate agreement.

Experts say the fossil fuel industry can contribute the most when it comes to cutting the methane emissions by the end of this decade by making improvements that may not cost much. Regardless, satellite images and infrared footage recorded in recent show excessive methane emissions from oil and gas plants in several countries including the US and the EU.

The US and EU are set to propose laws later this year to restrict methane emissions.

The story was filed by the News Desk. The Desk can be reached at


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