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International - November 2, 2021

US and EU announce global pledge to slash methane

US and EU announce global pledge to slash methane

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The US and the EU have announced a global partnership to cut emissions of the greenhouse gas methane by 2030.

EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen and US President Joe Biden made the announcement at the COP26 summit on Tuesday.

The Global Methane Pledge aims to limit methane emissions by 30% compared with 2020 levels.

It is one of the most potent greenhouse gases and responsible for a third of current warming from human activities.

More than 100 countries have signed up to the initiative, first proposed by the US and the EU in September.

The main focus of efforts to curb global warming is carbon dioxide (CO2), which is emitted as a result of human activities such as generating power and clearing forests.

But there has been a growing focus on methane as a way of buying extra time to tackle climate change. Although there’s more CO2 in the atmosphere and it sticks around for longer, individual methane molecules have a more powerful warming effect on the atmosphere than single CO2 molecules.

And while one of the key goals of COP26 is to get countries to commit to achieving net zero by 2050 – meaning not adding to the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere – both leaders stressed that they needed to act now.

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