Philanthropies pledge $450 million to tackle methane emissions at COP28

Renowned philanthropies have pledged to invest $450 million over the next three years to support countries in their efforts to address methane emissions, the second-most prominent greenhouse gas. This new focus comes at a critical time in global climate negotiations.

The Bezos Earth Fund, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and the Sequoia Climate Foundation are among the deep-pocketed organizations involved in the initiative. Their goal is to accelerate the reduction of methane emissions and other non-carbon dioxide greenhouse gases.

This announcement coincides with upcoming declarations on raising additional finance to tackle methane emissions from the United States, UAE, and China at the U.N. COP28 climate summit. Countries are also presenting new plans to curb these emissions.

Experts emphasize the importance of including methane efforts in a legally binding summit agreement. Although methane has a higher warming potential than carbon dioxide, it breaks down in the atmosphere more quickly. This means that reducing methane emissions can have a more immediate impact on limiting climate change.

Methane is released from various sources, including oil and gas production, agriculture, landfills, and food waste. Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley stressed the need to commit to ending methane leakages and urgently regulate other super pollutants to stay below a 1.5-degree warmer world.

Despite more than 150 countries pledging to slash their methane emissions by 30% from 2020 levels by 2030 under the U.S.- and EU-led Global Methane Pledge, few have outlined specific plans to achieve this. Research firm Kayrros reported that methane emissions are not decreasing and, in some areas, are even on the rise.

“We’ve been advocating for an outright ban on super-emitters. Rapid cuts in methane emissions from fossil fuels could lead to a reduction of 0.1°C in global temperature rise by mid-century,” said Antoine Rostand, CEO of Kayrros.

(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Frances Kerry)


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