The list of countries pledging to cut their methane pollution by 30% in the next eight years swelled to 150 on Thursday. Though it did not fully join the Global Methane Pledge, China — in a surprise appearance at U.S. climate envoy John Kerry’s press conference on methane — announced it is drafting a methane reduction plan. Quickly and dramatically reducing methane pollution is necessary to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
China’s announcement was welcomed by Kerry, who said the U.S. is willing to provide technical assistance, as well as advocates like Johnathan Banks of the Clean Air Task Force who described its announcement as “icing on the cake for an incredible day for methane.” The U.S. and the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development also announced $500 million for programs assisting small-scale farmers in applying practices that reduce methane emissions. (Pledge: Reuters, Bloomberg $, NPR; China: Reuters, Bloomberg $, Climate Home; US + UN: Modern Ghana)