Major Philanthropies Commit $450 Million to Combat Methane Emissions
In a groundbreaking move, nearly a dozen influential philanthropic organizations, including the Bezos Earth Fund, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and the Sequoia Climate Foundation, announced a joint investment of $450 million over the next three years to support countries in launching comprehensive initiatives to address methane emissions. This concerted effort underscores the increasing global attention on methane, the second-most prominent greenhouse gas, marking a pivotal development in ongoing climate negotiations.
The philanthropies aim to expedite the reduction of methane emissions and other non-carbon dioxide greenhouse gases, aligning their efforts with the forthcoming U.N. COP28 climate summit. The United States, UAE, and China are set to make significant announcements at the summit, emphasizing the urgency of mobilizing finance to combat methane emissions. Several countries are expected to present new plans to curb these emissions, highlighting the growing recognition of methane as a critical factor in addressing climate change.
Climate experts stress the importance of incorporating methane reduction strategies into legally binding agreements. While methane possesses greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, its shorter atmospheric lifespan means that reining in emissions can yield more immediate results in limiting climate change.
Methane originates from various sources, including oil and gas production, agriculture, landfills, and food waste. The philanthropic initiative aims to encourage a swift and decisive response to mitigate methane leakages and regulate other potent pollutants.
Mia Amor Mottley, the Prime Minister of Barbados, emphasized the need for urgent action, stating, "With time short, we must be smart and decisive about how we stay below a 1.5-degree warmer world."
Despite over 150 countries committing to slash methane emissions by 30% from 2020 levels by 2030 under the Global Methane Pledge led by the U.S. and EU since 2021, few have outlined concrete plans for achieving these targets. Recent data from research firm Kayrros indicates that methane emissions are not decreasing, and in some regions, they are on the rise.
Antoine Rostand, CEO of Kayrros, stressed the significance of aggressive measures, stating, "We’ve been calling 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." As the world grapples with the complex challenges of climate change, the collaboration of philanthropic powerhouses signals a proactive step towards mitigating the impact of methane emissions on the planet.