UN study demands drastic reduction in in global methane emissions

Methane 28 times more harmful than carbon dioxide

A landmark UN study was released this spring calling for radical reductions in methane gas emissions. According to the study, this will be the only way to avoid the worse impacts of a global climate change since methane is 28 times more harmful than carbon dioxide.

Methane emissions higher than ever

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, methane emissions skyrocketed to record highs in the last year and are still rising faster than ever in history. They mainly originate from the energy sector, but also from landfills, the agriculture and wastewater treatment. Around 9 % of worldwide anthropogenic methane emissions are caused by wastewater treatment, a key area that needs to be addressed to help lower methane emissions.*

45% less methane emissions reduce global warming by 0.3 degree Celsius

According to the study, a reduction of methane emissions by 45 % is feasible in this decade. This corresponds to 180 million tons per year and will reduce the global warming by 0.3 °C to a total of 1.5 °C by 2045.

Significant benefits of methane reduction

The reduction of methane emissions will create many benefits. If methane emissions are cut by 45 %, 255.000 premature deaths can be avoided per year. In addition, hospitalisations caused by asthma will be reduced by 755,000 annually, 73 trillion lost working hours could be avoided and the loss of 26 million tons of grain could be prevented.

Find out more about the UN study

Overview

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