Biden announces global goal to reduce planet-warming methane emissions

Biden made the announcement Friday morning throughout the Main Economies Discussion board, a digital, closed-door assembly with different world leaders on local weather, forward of a pivotal UN climate conference in Glasgow in November. The assembly is supposed to lift local weather ambition forward of the Glasgow summit, a senior administration official just lately instructed reporters.

“This won’t solely quickly cut back the speed of worldwide warming, however it can additionally produce a really precious facet profit like bettering public well being and agricultural output,” Biden stated. “We’re mobilizing help to assist creating international locations that be a part of and pledge to do one thing vital.”

Talking on Friday, Biden referred to as on world leaders to “convey to Glasgow our highest potential ambitions,” citing the US’s personal objectives geared toward curbing carbon emissions and his sweeping home financial agenda.

Biden described the August report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Local weather Change as a “code purple for humanity,” reiterating his perception that the world is at an “inflection level” for local weather motion, one thing, he stated, that “presents actual, unimaginable financial alternatives.”

Biden was joined by representatives from a portion of the MEF international locations, together with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, and European Union Fee President Ursula von der Leyen. Not all the member international locations had been represented on the digital occasion.

UN Secretary-Basic Antonio Guterres addressed the leaders on the assembly and instructed them they need to step up their efforts to scale back fossil-fuel emissions.

“The world is on a catastrophic pathway to 2.7 levels of heating,” Guterres stated. Scientists have stated world temperatures ought to stay beneath 1.5 levels above pre-industrial ranges to stave off the more serious penalties of the local weather disaster.

Guterres additionally famous that the UN local weather convention in November, throughout which world leaders will meet to debate emissions targets, has a “excessive danger of failure.”

“It’s clear that everybody should assume their tasks,” Guterres stated.

With Earth rapidly warming, scientists say methane emissions must be diminished quick. Charles Koven, a lead creator of the UN local weather change report revealed in August, instructed CNN this is because of methane’s unimaginable warming energy. Regardless that carbon dioxide stays within the ambiance longer, methane is a way more potent greenhouse fuel, trapping 25 instances as a lot warmth.

Main international locations have just lately seized on lowering methane as a quick technique to reduce down fossil-fuel emissions. The US and the EU started engaged on this world pledge throughout the final yr, stated Drew Shindell, a professor of earth science at Duke College. Shindell is a methane knowledgeable and lead a Could paper exhibiting that slicing methane emissions would assist sluggish world warming, and have public well being advantages.

“I have been in contact with each the US authorities and European Unions fee because the methane evaluation got here out, and even earlier than the primary drafts got here to governments for overview, they acquired very enthusiastic about methane,” Shindell instructed CNN.

The US and EU finalized their pledge a couple of month in the past, Shindell stated, and at the moment are making an attempt to get different international locations to decide to it.

Scientists say lowering methane emissions is the quickest technique to sluggish world warming. For example, if the world stopped emitting carbon dioxide tomorrow, Koven stated, world temperatures would not start to chill for a few years due to how lengthy the fuel stays within the ambiance. Methane has a stronger warming impact, nevertheless it would not keep within the ambiance so long as carbon dioxide.

“Quickly lowering methane emissions stands out as the single best technique to maintain the 1.5-degree restrict in attain, when it comes to near-term actions one can take,” a senior Biden administration official instructed CNN just lately, including methane at present accounts for about half a level of warming.

Shindell instructed CNN the methane pledge is important.

“When you concentrate on it happening 30% in a decade when it has been going up, that is an enormous reversal, it is a U-turn,” Shindell stated. “In the event that they pull this off, this might be large.”

Climate measures in budget bill could cut nearly 1 billion tons of emissions per year by 2030, analysis finds

Methane is the primary part of pure fuel, which powers near 40% of the US electrical energy sector. It could actually enter the ambiance via leaks from oil and pure fuel wells, pure fuel pipelines and the processing gear itself.

“We have already taken massive steps domestically to sort out these emissions and create good paying jobs, launched by plugging leaks and capping deserted wells and fuel wells,” Biden stated Friday. “We consider the collective purpose is each formidable however lifelike, and we urge you to affix us in asserting this pledge at COP 26.”

In response to information from the US Power Info Administration, the US has hundreds of lively wells for pure fuel, hundreds of thousands of deserted oil and fuel wells, about two million miles of pure fuel pipelines, and a number of other refineries that course of the fuel.

One in three Individuals lives in a county with oil and fuel operations, posing local weather and public well being dangers, based on a report by the Environmental Protection Fund.

Biden’s Environmental Safety Company is predicted to launch new methane laws later this yr, and Democrats in Congress are trying to go a brand new methane payment as a part of their $3.5 trillion budget bill.

This story has been up to date with extra developments.

CNN’s Angela Dewan and Rachel Ramirez contributed to this report.

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