The US and the EU made a joint pledge on Friday to cut global methane emissions by almost a third in the next decade, in what climate experts hailed as one of the most significant steps yet towards fulfilling the Paris climate agreement. The Guardian reports: Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, about 80 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, and emissions have been rising in recent years. Natural gas production and fracking, meat production and other forms of agriculture are among the chief sources. The pact between the US and the EU sets a target of cutting at least 30% from global methane emissions, based on 2020 levels, by 2030. If adopted around the world, this would reduce global heating by 0.2C by the 2040s, compared with likely temperature rises by then. The world is now about 1.2C hotter now than in pre-industrial times.
The UN published a report on Friday that found current pledges on emissions from national governments would result in an increase of 16% in emissions in 2030 compared with 2010 levels, whereas scientists warn that emissions must fall by 45% in that period to stay within 1.5C. The OECD also published a report on Friday showing that climate finance — funding from private and public sources that flows from the rich world to developing countries, to help them cut emissions and cope with the impacts of extreme weather — was falling about $20 billion short of a longstanding target of $100 billion a year.
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