BRUSSELS/WASHINGTON, Sept 13 (Reuters) – The United States and the European Union are making a joint diplomatic push to get countries to commit to cut methane emissions by nearly a third over the next decade, ahead of the COP26 climate change summit in November, according to documents seen by Reuters.
The greenhouse gas methane is the biggest cause of climate change after carbon dioxide (CO2), and is facing more scrutiny from governments as they seek solutions to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, a goal of the Paris climate agreement.
In an attempt to jumpstart action, the United States and the EU later this week will launch a joint pledge to reduce human-caused methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030, compared with 2020 levels, according to a draft of the Global Methane Pledge, which was seen by Reuters.
“The short atmospheric lifetime of methane means that taking action now can rapidly reduce the rate of global warming,” the draft said.
A separate document listed over two dozen countries that the U.S. and the EU will target to join the methane pledge. They include major emitters such as China, Russia, India, Brazil and Saudi Arabia, and others including Norway, Qatar, the UK, New Zealand and South Africa.
The U.S. State Department and the European Commission did not immediately comment on the documents.
Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Leslie Adler
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