Methane emissions cuts receive funding as a result of a push from the US government to halt global warming. California pledges $300 million to tackle methane leaks which would limit its greenhouse gas emissions.
$200 million would go towards plugging idle, leaking oil wells and $100 million is dedicated to methane-detecting satellites. The satellites would track global methane leaks from fossil fuel operations, landfills and agriculture. According to the announcement, the US will also deploy NASA aircraft in Latin America to measure and help mitigate regional methane emissions.
California is aiming to cut methane emissions by 40% by 2030, according to an announcement at the Summit of the Americas attended by US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and Governor Gavin Newsom.
Methane has a higher global warming potential compared to CO2. Over the course of 100 years, it is 28 to 34 times more potent than carbon dioxide and over a 20-year period, that ratio grows to 84-86 times. That means a leak of a tonne of methane is equivalent to emitting 27.9 tonnes of CO2. Around 60% of global methane emissions on Earth are due to human activities.
Back in November 2021, ahead of the major COP 26 summit in Glasgow, US President Joe Biden pressed world leaders to cut methane emissions at a virtual meeting.
In February this year, President Biden’s administration announced it will be sending $1.15 billion to 26 states to plug thousands of unattended wells that emit methane.