Ahead of the major summit on climate change COP 26 in Glasgow in November, US President Joe Biden convened a virtual meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Friday, September 17th to press for climate change action. Biden urged world leaders to cut methane emissions – one of the major remarks from that meeting.
He asked nations on Friday to join a pact agreed by the United States and the EU that aims to reduce global methane emissions by at least 30% below 2020 levels by 2030.
“This will not only rapidly reduce the rate of global warming, but … it will also produce a very valuable side benefit like improving public health and agricultural output…We believe the collective goal is both ambitious but realistic, and we urge you to join us in announcing this pledge at COP26,” said Biden during the meeting.
Reaction From World Leaders
Some nations welcomed the pact. The UK pledged to be among the first signatories of the Global Methane Pledge. Argentina, Indonesia, Italy, and Mexico also agreed to the alliance, while Ghana and Iraq only signaled interest in joining. These countries also represent six of the top 15 global methane emitters.
Bangladesh and South Korea also agreed along with United Nations Secretary General António Guterres. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry was asked by President Joe Biden to chair a ministerial session immediately to follow with China, Germany, India, and Russia.
Biden’s climate change plan is to complement the methane emissions pledge with other similar forums. Therefore, Kerry and Biden’s team is working to push countries to set ambitious targets for cutting their greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the UN, methane emissions are responsible for around 30% of warming since the pre-industrial era. Cutting methane emissions is also the fastest way to slow down global warming since the heat-trapping impact of methane is 25 times greater than CO2 over a 100 year period.
Scientists also warn that under current climate change policies, 3 degrees of global warming could be reached by the end of the century. Therefore more ambitious political measures are urgently needed so that the world can have a chance to avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis.