COP28’s Emphasis on Mitigating Methane Emissions

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December 5, 2023

COP28’s Emphasis on Mitigating Methane Emissions

Action On Methane Emissions To Be On Agenda At COP28


  • The impending COP28 summit in Dubai spotlights an urgent concern: the pressing need to address methane emissions. This greenhouse gas, though short-lived in the atmosphere, holds immense potency in contributing to climate change, ranking second only to CO2.

Methane’s Significance

  • Methane, abbreviated as CH4, wields a formidable impact on climate change. Despite its relatively short lifespan of around 10 years in the atmosphere, its warming potential surpasses CO2 by 28 times over a century and a staggering 80 times over two decades.

Sources and Uncertainties

  • Attributing nearly 60% of methane emissions to human activities, particularly agriculture, underscores its anthropogenic roots. However, approximately 40% emanates from natural sources, predominantly wetlands, contributing to the challenge of precisely quantifying total methane release.

Emission Factors

  • Agricultural pursuits, especially livestock rearing and rice cultivation, emerge as significant contributors to methane emissions. Additionally, leaks from the energy sector, predominantly coal, oil, and gas infrastructure, along with methane from waste decomposition in landfills, compound the issue.

Strategies for Mitigation

  • To curb methane emissions, multiple strategies beckon attention. Rapid reductions in emissions from fossil fuel sectors hold promise in averting a potential 0.1 degrees Celsius of warming by mid-century. Addressing leaky infrastructure, mitigating routine flaring, and venting can significantly curb emissions.

Global Initiatives and Challenges

  • The inception of the Global Methane Pledge in 2021 aimed to rally nations towards a 30% reduction in methane emissions by 2030, compared to 2020 levels. However, notable absentees like China, India, and Russia demand a stronger and more inclusive commitment to ensure effective global reduction.

National and Industry Efforts

  • Efforts from nations like the US and China to integrate methane in their climate action strategies exhibit promise. Yet, the effectiveness of plans, particularly in quantifying reduction targets like in China’s case, remains a pivotal concern.

Industry Commitments and COP28’s Agenda

  • Noteworthy initiatives from the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, aiming for zero emissions by 2030, underscore industry responsibility. Nevertheless, the efficacy of these commitments hinges on stringent implementation and adherence.


  • COP28 stands poised to deliberate extensively on methane’s critical role in climate change mitigation. A global commitment to substantially reduce methane emissions can herald a monumental stride in combating climate change. However, the path ahead demands concerted efforts from nations and industries, reinforced by robust monitoring and enforcement mechanisms.

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COP28’s Emphasis on Mitigating Methane Emissions | Vaid ICS Institute