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On 1st October in Mexico City, 38 countries launched a Global Methane Initiative to drive down emissions of this potent greenhouse gas. After the disappointing results from Copenhagen summit, this new accord, led by the USA and Mexico, illustrates an alternative approach to international action to counter potentially dangerous levels of anthropogenic warming.
The United States have pledged £50 million over the next five years to support methane mitigation projects and technologies, and the hope is that other developed countries will follow suit.
Methane is an attractive target for emission reduction. Its potency as a greenhouse gas (25 times greater than CO2 over 100 years) and its relatively short lifetime in the atmosphere, mean that small actions can have a big impact. What’s more, if the methane captured is converted to clean energy, the gain for the environment can be matched by economic benefits.
The Global Methane Initiative is backed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mexico’s Ministry of Environment, the European Commission, the Asian Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, and builds on the existing Methane to Markets Partnership. The 38 partner countries will develop action plans to coordinate accelerated global methane emission abatement.