Over 20 new countries, including some of the top greenhouse gas (GHG) producers, announced this week their participation in the Global Methane Pledge, an initiative to significantly reduce methane emissions this decade, which is seen as one of the most impactful ways to achieve the global climate goal to limit warming to 1.5°C.

Methane, emitted from activity such as agriculture, fossil fuel production and transport, coal mining and landfills, is an extremely potent greenhouse gas, with as much as 80x the warming power of CO2. Given its much shorter lifetime in the atmosphere, however (10-12 years, vs 50-100 years for CO2), near-term reductions in methane emissions can have a meaningful climate impact over the next few years.

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In September, the EU and US, with support from seven other countries, announced the Global Methane Pledge, aiming to get countries on board the efforts to slash methane emissions. The pledge will officially be launched at COP26 in November, with signatories committing to the collective goal to reduce global methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030, compared to 2020 levels.

According to the US and EU, delivering on the pledge would deliver a reduction inf warming by 0.2°C by 2050.

New signatories to the pledge this week include Canada, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Federated States of Micronesia, France, Germany, Guatemala, Guinea, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Malta, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Sweden, and Togo. They join other countries in the pledge including Argentina, Ghana, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Mexico and the United Kingdom at the MEF.

With the new signatories, the pledge now has the support of 9 of the world’s top methane emitters, accounting for roughly 30% of global methane emissions and 60% of the global economy.

In a virtual ministerial meeting aimed at mobilizing further support for the Global Methane Pledge, hosted by European Commission Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans and US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, Timmermans said:

“The Global Methane Pledge is a joint initiative of the European Union and the US, which we designed to harness global action to reduce methane emissions in the coming decade. Together with the US, we, and the EU, call on all our international partners to join us in this important task, which can bring us closer to reaching our climate objectives.”