New Delhi: Researchers have showed through a review that only around 13 per cent of global methane emissions are regulated, despite methane emissions causing at least 25 per cent of current global warming. The researchers from Queen Mary University of London, UK, also found that little is known about the effectiveness of the policies that exist, with potentially unrepresentative methane emission estimations used rather than actual measurements. This global review of methane policies, published in the journal One Earth, systematically looked at all major man-made emission sources, agriculture, energy and waste. The researchers focused on 281 policies worldwide, 255 of them currently in force, that aim to monitor and reduce methane emissions examining the geographical coverage, strength and effectiveness of the policies.
90 per cent of identified national policies have been adopted in three regions: North America (39 per cent), Europe (30 per cent) and Asia Pacific (21 per cent).
Globally, the research showed there has been a gradual increase in methane policies since 1974. But fossil methane policies, e.g., targeting emissions from coal, oil and gas sectors tend to be less stringent than those targeting biogenic methane sources, especially in the waste sector.
One of the main challenges to measuring methane emissions, the researchers said, is accurately identifying and quantifying sources. Developing and using technologies such as satellites to monitor methane emissions can help policymakers with measurement, verification, compliance and detection of super-emitters.
Introducing policies with greater policy coverage, mitigation solutions including for major sources, and measurable objectives could lead to a significant methane emissions reduction, they said.
Inaccurate estimations can also mean the issue is taken less seriously by decision-makers by masking its severity, they said, and argued that the lack of regulation and clarity into their impact must urgently be addressed if we were to meet our global climate targets.
Their review suggested a consistent approach worldwide with robust quantification and reporting could unlock new opportunities to drastically reduce global warming levels.
To meet the Paris Agreement 1.5 degrees Celsius objective, man-made methane emissions should be reduced by at least 40 to 45 per cent by 2030, compared to the 2020 levels. Methane mitigation is not only a cost-effective strategy to reduce global warming but could also improve the air quality.
Today methane emissions are increasing faster than at any time since the 1980s, they said.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diarrhoea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.