mandag 15. november 2021

From Rice Paddies to Old Mines, China’s Methane Pledge Explained

The focus on methane in the surprise climate agreement China announced with the United States during the COP26 conference on Wednesday is a sign the country is committed to curbing emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas, experts told Sixth Tone. But they warned living up to the pledge will not be easy. In a joint declaration, the world’s two largest greenhouse gas emitters said they would cooperate on reducing methane emissions, which they consider “a matter of necessity.” Despite not signing up to a global methane pledge, China said in the statement it intends to “develop a comprehensive and ambitious National Action Plan on methane.”

“Formally the declaration doesn’t add anything new (to China’s pledges on controlling methane),” Lauri Myllyvirta, lead analyst at Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, told Sixth Tone. Alongside the country’s plan to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2060, authorities had also announced intentions to reduce methane emissions.

“However, making an international commitment to such an action plan creates expectations that there would be measurable targets and outcomes,” Myllyvirta said.