Global Methane Pledge: Nigeria joins US, EU countries to reduce emissions

Jesusegun Alagbe

Nigeria is among 24 new countries to join the Global Methane Pledge – an initiative to be launched at the World Leaders Summit at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP-26) this November in Glasgow, United Kingdom.

US President Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) on 17 September announced support from seven additional countries to rapidly reduce methane emissions.

On Monday, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and European Commission Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans, who leads international negotiations on climate, hosted a virtual ministerial to mobilise further support for the Global Methane Pledge.

The co-convenors and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme Inger Andersen affirmed the critical importance of rapidly reducing methane emissions as the single most effective strategy to reduce near-term global warming to keep the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach.

“More than 20 philanthropies announced combined commitments of over $200 million to support implementation of the Global Methane Pledge,” read a statement by the Africa Regional Media Hub, an arm of the US Department of State’s Bureau of Global Public Affairs.

“Following initial announcement of support by Argentina, Ghana, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Mexico and the United Kingdom at the MEF, 24 new countries announced that they will join the Global Methane Pledge.

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“With these new commitments, 9 of the top 20 methane emitters are now participating in the Pledge, representing about 30% of global methane emissions and 60% of the global economy,” the statement said.

The new Global Methane Pledge supporters are: Canada, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Costa Rica, Cotê d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Federated States of Micronesia, France, Germany, Guatemala, Guinea, and Israel.

Others are Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Malta, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Rwanda, Sweden, and Togo.

Experts say methane is a potent greenhouse gas, and according to the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it accounts for about half of the 1.0 degree Celsius net rise in global average temperature since the pre-industrial era, making methane action an essential complement to energy sector decarbonisation.

According to the MEF, countries joining the Global Methane Pledge commit to a collective goal of reducing global methane emissions by at least 30 per cent from 2020 levels by 2030 and moving towards using highest tier IPCC good practice inventory methodologies to quantify methane emissions, with a particular focus on high emission sources.

Successful implementation of the Pledge would reduce warming by at least 0.2 degrees Celsius by 2050, the forum said.

MEF added that the US and EU, and other early supporters would continue to enlist additional countries to join the Global Methane Pledge pending its formal launch at COP 26.

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