US and EU methane push sets global benchmark

08 October 2021

Ahead of COP26 talks in November, the United States. and the European Union announced a commitment to cut their methane emissions 30% by the end of the decade, and are rallying other governments to join them. The pledge is a milestone in the climate fight, establishing a central place for methane in the race to achieve the warming limits in the Paris Climate Agreement.

President Biden convened the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) ON September 17th as a follow-up to the convening of that group during his Leaders Summit on Climate in April. Participants underscored the urgency of strengthening climate ambition ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP 26) in Glasgow and beyond, and many announced their support for a Global Methane Pledge to be launched at COP 26.

The virtual, closed-door gathering consisted of leaders from Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, the European Commission, the European Council, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, and the United Kingdom as well as the UN Secretary-General. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry chaired a ministerial session with China, Germany, India, and Russia.

Participants addressed four topics:

- Further commitments and actions to be undertaken in the remaining weeks before COP 26 in Glasgow.
- Potential participation in the Global Methane Pledge to be launched at COP 26.
- The importance of a forward-looking COP outcome that reflects the collective commitment of Parties to the Paris Agreement to continue strengthening their ambition and actions post-Glasgow.
- Plans to leverage the MEF post-Glasgow as a launchpad for collective, concrete efforts to scale up climate action during the decisive decade of the 2020s.

Details Courtesy of U.S. White House.