- 53 countries have signed up to the Global Methane Pledge, committing to cut methane emissions by 30% in 2030 from 2020 levels. In 2019, these countries made up 30% of global methane emissions and around 34% of total global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. They also constitute 59% of global GDP. Roughly 25 further countries have reportedly signed up to the pledge, however, this list has not been confirmed. We do know it does not yet include the large methane emitters Russia, China, or Brazil.
- Global IPCC pathways consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit reduce methane emissions by 34% [25-53%] in 2030 relative to 2020 levels. The Global Methane Pledge is close to, but not fully in line with 1.5°C scenarios.
The impact on the emissions gap
- If all countries committed to, and achieved, the Global Methane Pledge, methane reductions alone would close the 2030 emissions gap by 14%. The emissions gap is the difference between where global greenhouse gas emissions are heading under current pledges and where we would need to be for 1.5°C in 2030.
It is extremely important to recognise that methane and CO2 reductions are interlinked
- Stringent methane emissions reductions are directly linked to deep reductions of CO2 needed by 2030 in 1.5°C compatible pathways. This is because a significant share of methane and CO2 emissions originate from the same source: fossil fuel use. In emission pathways consistent with the Global Methane Pledge, 60% of methane reductions would be achieved by curbing future use of fossil fuels.
- Scenarios aligned with the methane pledge would also see stronger reductions in CO2 than in current climate targets. On average CO2 emissions fall by 37% between 2020 and 2030 in those scenarios, mostly driven by energy-related emissions reductions. Countries could strengthen the credibility of this pledge by demonstrating how they will achieve it by setting stringent emission targets for all greenhouse gases.
- If total GHG emissions reductions were aligned with the ambition implied in the Global Methane Pledge, 50% of the 2030 emissions gap to 1.5°C would be closed. This is because cost-effective methane reductions are a result of cost-effective CO2 reductions.
Cooling from methane reductions is crucial to balance warming from reducing dangerous air pollution
- If fossil fuel use is reduced in line with 1.5°C pathways, the cooling effects of lower levels of methane would balance the warming effects of lower levels of aerosols (also emitted by fossil fuel combustion).
- The claim that methane reductions would cool the planet is not necessarily correct, as they would not take place in isolation. However, reductions will play a critical role if accompanied by rapid CO2 emissions reductions.
The Global Methane Pledge indicates a significant and substantial signal towards stronger mitigation efforts. Its achievement would make an important dent in the total 2030 emissions gap. However, governments need to come forward with equivalent action on CO2, in order to make significant progress towards achieving the Paris Agreement.
If governments implement the level CO2 reductions implied by this pledge through curbing fossil fuel use – then we’d really be getting somewhere.
Unabated: the Carbon Capture and Storage 86 billion tonne carbon bomb aimed at derailing a fossil phase out
The climate talks at COP28 have centred around the need for a fossil fuel phase out. Our analysis quantifies the risk posed by restricting a phase out commitment to only ‘unabated’ fossil fuels.
No change to warming as fossil fuel endgame brings focus onto false solutions
The CAT's annual warming estimate has risen by 0.1˚C to 2.5˚C. The estimate is largely influenced by weak existing targets rather than shifts triggered by updated Nationally Determined Contributions.
When will global greenhouse gas emissions peak?
The IPCC says peaking before 2025 is a critical step to keep the 1.5°C limit within reach. With emissions set to rise in 2023, this leaves limited time to act. To assess if we can meet this milestone, we look at when global emissions might peak, as well as what we can do to get there in time.
Wind and solar benchmarks for a 1.5°C world
This report presents a detailed methodology for determining the amount of wind and solar capacity that is required for a country to align with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature goal. While the focus of the report is the method, it includes illustrative benchmarks for Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Germany, South Africa.
A 1.5°C future is possible: getting fossil fuels out of the Philippine power sector
The Philippines is also one of the fastest-growing developing countries: poverty is in decline, access to energy is rising and, with that, demand for energy services. However, fossil fuels still dominate the energy system, accounting for 78% of power generation in 2022. This report sets out what the Philippines government needs to do to get the country’s power sector onto a 1.5˚C compatible emissions pathway, replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy.
Production Gap Report 2023
Governments, in aggregate, still plan to produce more than double the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C. The persistence of the global production gap puts a well-managed and equitable energy transition at risk.
Emissions impossible: Unpacking CSIRO GISERA Beetaloo Middle Arm fossil gas emissions estimates
This report provides an independent evaluation of the CSIRO and GISERA assessments of the potential greenhouse gas emissions that would result from the exploitation of the Beetaloo fossil shale gas reserves.
Adjusting 1.5°C climate change mitigation pathways in light of adverse new information
This study uses an integrated assessment model to explore how 1.5°C pathways could adjust in light of new adverse information, such as a reduced 1.5°C carbon budget, or slower-than-expected low-carbon technology deployment.
Railway development: lessons for the EU
This paper analyses how EU railway policy for a low-carbon future can be enhanced, drawing insights from Japan and Switzerland.
Ramping up energy storage: lessons for the EU
This paper explores how the EU can enhance its policy for a low-carbon future by learning from successful energy storage approaches in California, South Korea, and Australia.