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The world needs to dramatically cut methane emissions to avoid worst of climate change, UN says

  • May 06, 2021

The report also pointed to the public health benefits of reducing methane, which is responsible for creating ground-level ozone, a dangerous air pollutant.

The 45% methane emissions reduction would prevent 255,000 premature deaths, 775,000 asthma-related hospital visits and 73 billion hours of lost labor from extreme heat and 26 million tons of crop losses each year, according to the report.

“We must tackle emissions not only from the energy sector, but also from landfills, agriculture, and abandoned coal mines,” Jutta Paulus, a Green Party member of the European Parliament, said in a statement.

“Setting aside dedicated funds for these super-emitters will be well-invested money on the path to reach our climate targets in 2030,” Paulus said.

A new study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters also said that cutting methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, agriculture and other human sources could slow global warming by as much as 30%.

Oil and gas extraction, processing and distribution account for 23% of emissions while coal mining comprises roughly 12% of emissions, the report said. Agriculture and livestock emissions from manure and enteric fermentation account for about 32% of methane emissions.

CNBC has reached out to the American Petroleum Institute, the oil and gas industry’s largest trade group, and the American Farm Bureau Federation, a lobbying group for the U.S. agricultural sector, for comment on the U.N. report.

Countries such as Russia, France and Argentina called for curbing methane emissions at the global leaders’ climate summit hosted by President Joe Biden last month.

In the U.S., the Senate recently restored an Obama-era regulation designed to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas fields by requiring companies to monitor and repair methane leaks from pipelines, storage facilities and wells.

Article source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/06/world-must-cut-methane-emissions-to-avoid-worst-of-climate-change-un-says.html

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