Azerbaijani expert assesses impact of methane on climate change

Green Economy Materials 1 March 2024 10:10 (UTC +04:00)
Azerbaijani expert assesses impact of methane on climate change
Farid Zohrabov
Farid Zohrabov
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 1. The potential damage from methane amidst global warming when measuring the impact over 20 years is 80 times greater than the damage from an equivalent volume of carbon dioxide (CO2), a Member of the Environmental Protection First Coalition and the COP29 Organizing Committee Parvana Valiyeva told Trend.

The issue was reflected in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report for 2019, she explained.

"Global climate change is a long-term process. During the Industrial Revolution in the 1750s, people began to overuse gasoline, gas, and coal. This has led to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. In the 1950s, as people began to use cars more, there was a large increase in CO2 in the atmosphere. These two periods in history are in some ways the start of the climate crisis," the expert said.

According to her, the increase in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions has led to a rise in the average global temperature by at least 1.1 degrees compared to the pre-industrial era.

The expert noted that although this figure may not seem very high over such a long period, in some places in India, summer temperatures are already rising by 10-15 degrees higher than usual, ice near the North Pole has started to melt, and according to scientists, the average sea level has significantly increased since 1880, with most of this rise occurring in the last 25 years.

Valiyeva reminded that in 2015, global leaders signed an agreement in Paris within COP21, aiming to keep the increase in the average global temperature well below 2 °C compared to pre-industrial levels, while making efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C.

She pointed out that some parties also have goals for zero emissions, and since the issue is global, each country must set its own targets.

According to a recent IPCC report, methane accounts for about 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the global energy sector, the expert further explained.

Methane is also produced in landfills, agriculture, and natural processes such as decomposition, and achieving the goals of the Global Methane Pledge (GMP), such as reducing anthropogenic methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030, is crucial to maintaining the 1.5°C temperature threshold.

"During COP28, parties under the Global Methane Pledge (GMP) initiative committed to achieving a minimum 30 percent reduction in methane emissions by 2030 compared to the 2020 level. COP28 was marked by several innovations:

1. Financing of over $1 billion was mobilized for reducing methane emissions.

2. Alongside decisive measures regarding waste, food, and agriculture, countries with major methane emissions from oil and gas must undertake new national commitments and make changes to legislation.

3. Development of transformative information tools, including the full launch of the Methane Emissions Notification and Response System, as well as new data for the methane reduction campaign.

4. New members and expanded leadership. Canada, the Federated States of Micronesia, Germany, Japan, and Nigeria joined the US and the European Union as supporters of the Global Methane Pledge. Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Romania, and Angola also joined the commitment, bringing the total number of participating countries to 155.

5. 49 oil and gas extraction companies agreed to reduce methane emissions by 2030.

The fastest way to reduce global warming in the short term is to cut methane emissions," added Valiyeva.

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