COP26: EU and US announce global partnership to cut methane emissions by 30%

Posted on 02 November 2021

But in the energy sector, only ending fossil gas will truly tackle methane emissions
US President Joe Biden and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen today announced a global partnership to reduce emissions of methane - a potent greenhouse gas - by 30% by 2030, compared to 2020 levels.

The Global Methane Pledge was first proposed in September. Today’s announcement sees the number of countries signatories jump to more than 80.

Marcene Mitchell, WWF-US Senior Vice President for Climate Change, said: 
“Methane is an incredibly potent driver of climate change and we welcome the administration's leadership to tackle this powerful greenhouse gas. Beyond reducing the climate impacts of methane leaks, the proposal will clean the air for the communities living around these sites where methane is emitted. This is a critical step on our journey to addressing the climate crisis while ensuring a more just and equitable future.”

Imke Lübbeke, Head of Climate and Energy at WWF European Policy Office said:
“This pledge will allow emissions to be cut rapidly, which is essential if we are to tackle the climate crisis. However in terms of the energy sector, we can only truly remove the dangers of methane by ending the extraction and burning of fossil gas.”

Vanessa Perez-Cirera, WWF Global Deputy Lead Climate & Energy said:
We need to be doing everything we can to keep global warming under 1.5℃. Reducing methane emissions is one of the quickest and most powerful ways we can take action. So it is encouraging to have so many countries pledging to cut methane emissions by 30% compared to 2020. 

“We would like to see all signatories to the Paris Agreement sign up to this pledge. However, with food systems responsible for around 50% of methane emissions, we will only have  success if regenerative agricultural practices as well as other food consumption actions are also urgently adopted.”
Sarah Azau
Communications Manager - WWF European Policy Office 
Tel: +32 473 573 137
Sheeps in Livno area, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
© Michel Gunther / WWF