DUBAI — The United States on Saturday took the lead on reducing methane at the COP28 UN climate talks in Dubai, moving to slash domestic emissions, and held a joint summit with China and the United Arab Emirates to get countries to make pledges to limit the environmental damage caused by the harmful greenhouse gas.
Methane has contributed to 30% of current global warming, and the hydrocarbon traps more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Methane’s warming effect is 80 times more powerful over a 20-year time frame.
The methane summit at COP28 saw the raising of over $1 billion in new grant funding for methane reduction and saw Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Angola, Kenya and Romania join the Global Methane Pledge — which was first launched at COP26 in November 2021. The European Union- and US-led agreement has more than 150 countries targeting the goal of reducing methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030.
COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber also announced a deal to cut methane emissions from the fossil fuel industry, with ExxonMobil and Saudi Arabia's state-owned oil firm Aramco being among the 50 businesses that signed up.