India has abstained from signing a pledge that aims to cut down the emission of greenhouse gas— methane by 2030. The United States and European Union have jointly pledged to cut down methane emission by 30 per cent compared with 2020 levels, in an attempt to fight rapid climate change. The 'Global Methane Pledge' was launched at the ongoing COP26 summit in Glasgow and was signed by as many as 100 countries.
In another major development, 133 countries have signed a Glasgow Leaders' Declaration on Forests and Land Use — a declaration initiated by the United Kingdom to "halt deforestation" and land degradation by 2030. India has kept an arm's length from this ambitious environmental goal as well.
Top 5 Methane Emitters
China, Russia, and India are the top three emitters of greenhouse gas.
Though the top three methane emitters have decided not to be a signatory, six on the list of the world's top 10 methane producers—the U.S., Brazil, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Mexico—have taken the pledge.
Why is Methane Harmful?
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas released into the atmosphere through human activities such as leakage from natural gas systems and raising of livestock as well natural sources such as wetlands. Methane is a short-lived climate pollutant that lasts for around 12 years. Increasing Methane emission is the major contributor to one-third of term global heating.
Agents Emitting Methane
Livestock emission—from manure and gastroenteric releases amounts to 32 per cent of human-caused methane emission. With the ever-increasing global population, the demand for animal protein has also increased worldwide. Another contributor to agriculture methane is paddy rice cultivation, where the flooded fields prevent the oxygen from penetrating the soil. This accounts for another 8 per cent of human-made emissions.
How To Cut Down Methane Emission
It has been said cutting methane emissions is the quickest way to tackle climate change since the gas has accounted for roughly 30 per cent of global warming since pre-industrial times and has been rapidly multiplying.
UNEP Food Systems and Agriculture Advisor James Lomax says the world needs to begin by "rethinking our approaches to agricultural cultivation and livestock production."
It includes leveraging new technology, shifting towards plant-rich diets, and embracing alternative sources of protein. Lomax says that it will be key if humanity is to slash greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming to 1.5°C, a target of the Paris climate change agreement.