US-EU Methane Pledge: rapid roll out of anaerobic and biogas required to achieve 30% methane emissions reduction by 2030 – says World Biogas Association
- The US and EU have announced a Global Methane Pledge to deliver a 30% reduction in methane emissions by 2030 at the 2021 Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate last week. The Pledge will be formally launched at COP26 in November.
- Seven other countries have also indicated support for the pledge: Argentina, Ghana, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Mexico and the United Kingdom.
- Global trade body the World Biogas Association (WBA) says a rapid roll out of anaerobic digestion (AD) technology can help deliver on this commitment.
- Curbing methane emissions can reduce global warming by around one third of a degree (0.03C). AD is recognised by the EU, UN and Climate and Clean Air Coalition as a low-cost readily available technology to do so.
President Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced last week the Global Methane Pledge, an initiative by which countries commit to a collective goal of reducing global methane emissions by at least 30% from 2020 levels by 2030. They made the announcement at the Major Economies Forum (MEF) On Energy and Climate, welcoming the commitment from a number of MEF countries and urging more nations to support the pledge ahead of its formal launch at COP26 in Glasgow in November.
Reacting to the news, Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of the World Biogas Association, said:
“We welcome this decisive action on the part of the EU and US. The commitment to curbing methane emissions is a clear goal that can be achieved this decade. Ensuring all organic wastes are collected and recycled through anaerobic digestion is critical to achieving this. We humans produce 105 billion tonnes of methane-emitting organic wastes annually. These are packed with valuable minerals that can be used to restore soils through the creation of biofertilizer while also producing energy, bio-CO2 and transport fuels.
At its full potential, the AD sector can capture these wastes and deliver a 10% cut in global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. It is recognised by the EU, UN and Climate and Clean Air Coalition as a low-cost readily available technology. But we need the full deployment of AD to happen really fast to deliver on this by 2030.
We look forward to co-ordinating a response to the Global Methane Pledge with national governments and international bodies. The commitment will also prove valuable to Covid recovery planning, creating hundreds of thousands of skilled jobs in the process.”
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Notes to Editors
As a short-lived greenhouse gas, methane has 80 times more global warming potential than CO2 over its first 10 years.
- Anaerobic Digestion (AD)
Currently only 2% of the world’s organic wastes are effectively treated and recycled. These organic wastes are best recycled through anaerobic digestion (AD), a natural biological and chemical process which produces green energy, biofertilisers and other bio-products essential for the development of a sustainable circular economy. Read also What Is Biogas here.
- About WBA
The World Biogas Association is the global trade association for the biogas, landfill gas and anaerobic digestion (AD) sectors, dedicated to facilitating the adoption of biogas globally. We represent over 100 organisations working in the global biogas industry, including: national associations, biogas operators and developers, equipment providers, water companies, the agricultural sector, waste companies, and academic & research institutions. www.worldbiogasassociation.org
- WBA Paris Declaration
In the WBA’s Biogas and Climate Change Commitment Declaration, unveiled on 27th November 2019 and presented to the UN at COP25, global biogas industry leaders call on world governments to unlock the sector’s considerable potential towards meeting their Paris Agreement targets. In return, they commit to putting their full human, financial and technological resources behind enabling the rapid expansion of biogas in all parts of the globe. Read about the Declaration here.
- WBA report: Biogas: Pathways to 2030 (Executive Summary and Full report)
The WBA report Biogas: Pathways to 2030 published in 2020 makes clear recommendations on how to deploy AD around the world, providing governments with a toolkit of measures that will enable the biogas industry to deliver carbon savings and cut the current shortfall identified by the UN in the capacity of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to meet Paris Agreement targets by over a quarter. Read the report here.
- About the CCAC’s Global Methane Assessment (overview)
“Cutting methane is the strongest lever we have to slow climate change over the next 25 years and complements necessary efforts to reduce carbon dioxide. The benefits to society, economies, and the environment are numerous and far outweigh the cost”, says Inger Andersen, the UNEP Executive Director. Read the overview here.
- About the EU’s Methane Strategy (overview)
The European Commission has released its Methane Strategy, which enhances and consolidates plans for a more than 400% increase in biogas production to reduce methane emissions across the continent. It repeatedly calls for biogas production to be incentivised, to rise from around 17Mtoe (million tonnes of oil equivalent) to up to 72 Mtoe by 2050. Read the overview here.