A sharp cut in methane emissions now could help avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis, according to research published on Monday.
While the focus of climate mitigation is mostly on driving down CO2, methane is a more potent albeit short-lived greenhouse gas.
The study found that cuts to CO2 alone could not achieve the reductions needed to stay within 1.5C of pre-industrial temperatures. It added that cutting methane would give us “a fighting chance” of staving off climate catastrophe.
There are signs of progress. One unexpected outcome from COP26 was a deal on curbing methane emissions by 30 per cent this decade. It was signed by 105 countries. Leaky gas infrastructure and intensive agriculture are among the leading sources of methane.