Methane Observatory launched to boost action

A new International Methane Emissions Observatory (IMEO) has been launched at the G20 Summit. 

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) with support from the European Union has launched the new Observatory in a bid to drive action on reducing methane emissions – a powerful greenhouse gas responsible for at least a quarter of the current climate warming. 

IMEO will improve the reporting accuracy and public transparency of human-caused methane emissions.

The Observatory will initially focus on methane emissions from the fossil fuel sector, and then expand to other major emitting sectors like agriculture and waste.

The recently published Global Methane Assessment states that zero or low net-cost reductions could almost halve anthropogenic methane emissions and could shave 0.28 degrees Celsius from the forecasted rise in the planet’s average temperature by 2050.

white smoke coming out from building

President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said: ‘Methane is one of the most dangerous gases for our climate. We urgently need to reduce methane emissions to keep our climate targets in reach. Better satellite monitoring is essential and the EU is proud to support the creation of the International Methane Emissions Observatory.

‘As highlighted by IPCC, if the world is serious about avoiding the worst effects of climate change, we need to cut methane emissions from the fossil fuel industry. But this is not a get-out-of-jail-free card: methane reductions must go hand in hand with actions to decarbonize the energy system to limit warming to 1.5°C, as called for in the Paris Agreement.’

The Observatory will produce a global public dataset of empirically verified methane emissions – at an increasing level of granularity and accuracy by integrating data principally from four streams: reporting from the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership, direct measurement data from scientific studies, remote sensing data, and national inventories. 


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