Despite efforts made to cut methane emissions in 2022, not enough has been done to meet the Global Methane Pledge commitments, says Kayrros
It has been one year since the launch of the Global Methane Pledge, yet the frequency of methane ‘super-emitters’ has yet to abate, according to satellite data. Kayrros warns that time is running out.
Overview of the report on Global Methane Pledge commitments:
- The report highlights that overall basin-level emissions are roughly unchanged. This means that we have failed to deliver the 7% annual reduction needed to meet the Global Methane Pledge.
- Aggregate figures conceal regional disparities, notably a marked reduction in coal-related emissions from Australia’s Bowen basin, offset by further growth in emissions from Algeria’s giant Hassi R’Mel gas field.
- Climate data company Kayrros suggests that eliminating all methane super-emitters is achievable by 2025, but change needs to happen fast.
- US Inflation Reduction Act is likely to create incentives needed for sudden and drastic reform in 2022.
- Satellite data analysis from Kayrros shows the number of large global super-emitters, responsible for 10% of global emissions, has not significantly fallen in 2022, leaving Global Methane Pledge ambitions well out of reach.
What is the Global Methane Pledge?
The Global Methane Pledge was agreed upon by over 100 countries at COP26 last year.
Essentially, it holds signatories accountable for reducing methane emissions by 30% by 2030.
However, Kayrros has issued a severe warning. So far, the climate data company has not recorded any notable progress – except in Australia.
Emissions from Algeria’s Hassi R’Mel basin increased significantly through 2022
To put this into perspective, methane has 80% of the global heating potential of carbon dioxide in the first 20 years after reaching the atmosphere.
Limited regulation and emissions controls are holding back progress
Antoine Rostand, co-founder and president of Kayrros, commented: “We are still a way off the commitments made to cutting methane emissions. Limited regulation and emissions controls in some parts of the world are holding back real progress, even as the climate crisis moves to the top of the news agenda.
“More must also be done to ensure developed nations do not export their emissions elsewhere, swapping domestic production and waste management for cheap alternatives abroad.
“Improving satellite imaging technology has allowed for a granular understanding of these problems and better reporting of risk. This supports the industry in making more informed decisions, coupled with policy updates, notably with the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act and changes in key economies, to create the regulatory and financial incentives to accelerate abatement measures.”
‘There is hope’
“There is hope. Based on our analysis, it is entirely achievable that with the right policy and incentives, we could eliminate all serious emitters and even exceed the Global Methane Pledge commitments by 2030. The Inflation Reduction Act will go a way to providing these incentives for businesses to modernise infrastructure and improve practices.”
“Better and more transparent data will be needed at every turn to fully understand and respond appropriately to the challenges ahead.”
What are super emitters?
The phrase ‘super emitters’ refers to facilities, equipment, and other infrastructure that account for around 10% of all energy-related emissions.
Super emitters are considered a major obstacle to tackling the climate crisis due to the way the gas traps heat in the atmosphere.
The rate at which super-emitters emit methane remains high, especially in the developing world, which may be more prone to leaky gas infrastructure and limited emission controls for landfills.
Methane inventories in select fossil fuel basins (size of bubble = Mt CH4/yr), coverage of satellite data (x-axis, relative to total country emissions) and annual trend rate since 2019 (y-axis)
Reducing emissions from energy, agriculture, and landfills is the most effective strategy to limit global warming in the short term.
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