The recognition of the need to quickly cut methane pollution, and the cumulative calls to do so, are greater than ever before, the Washington Post reports. Methane, the primary component in what the industry calls “natural gas,” is the second-most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, trapping over 80-times more heat than carbon dioxide over a 20-year time frame. This, combined with the availability of options to reduce methane pollution, like fixing leaky pipelines and electrifying home heating and cooking, makes it a significant part of humanity’s most plausible pathway to limiting warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F) above preindustrial levels.
Reducing methane pollution has featured prominently in recent IPCC reports on the causes of, and solutions to climate change, and while the U.S. government has made moves to lead the international community in the efforts to cut methane emissions, global energy sector methane pollution is 70% higher than official figures. (Washington Post $, The Guardian, Gizmodo)