A group of 70 major oil and gas companies made a groundbreaking announcement at COP28, committing to reduce methane emissions by 80 to 90% by the end of the decade. This move represents a significant milestone in the ongoing battle against climate change.
During the COP28 summit, Vice President Kamala Harris also unveiled new regulations aimed at curtailing methane gas emissions in the United States. Methane, an invisible gas with powerful warming properties, is a key contributor to climate change, making it a crucial target for reduction efforts.
Ilissa Ocko, a senior climate scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund, emphasized the urgency of reducing methane emissions, describing it as the “single fastest opportunity” to slow down global warming. Ocko explained that cutting methane emissions globally by half over the next ten years could potentially reduce the rate of warming by 30%.
A critical tool in the effort to identify and mitigate methane leaks is the Methane Sat, a $90 million satellite being developed by the Environmental Defense Fund. Once launched, this satellite will play a vital role in detecting and mapping methane leaks across the globe, providing valuable data for emission reduction initiatives.
With the potential to reduce destructive weather events and slow the melting of ice sheets, the impact of reducing methane emissions could be far-reaching. Ocko’s dedication to this cause is deeply personal, driven by her desire to create a better world for her young daughter.
In addition to methane emissions, the summit also addressed other pressing issues, including child labor in the chocolate industry, a legal battle between musical partners, and an iconic rock band’s farewell concert.