8th November 2023, Mumbai: China, the world’s largest methane emitter, has revealed an action plan to combat pollution by reducing emissions from various sectors, including coal mining, rice farming, and gas operations. However, the plan lacks specific emission reduction targets.
China’s Efforts to Combat Methane Emissions
China, the leading global methane emitter, is focusing on improving monitoring, reporting, and data transparency to curb emissions of this potent greenhouse gas. The country will also leverage new technologies to detect methane pollution effectively.
Absence of Global Methane Pledge and China’s Approach
China’s plan does not reference the Global Methane Pledge, which aims to reduce methane emissions by 30% by the end of this decade. China did not join this commitment led by the US and EU in 2021, opting for its own pathway. Currently, 150 signatories support the pledge, but major emitters like Russia, India, and Iran have yet to join.
China’s Climate Initiative and Global Implications
The release of this plan is considered a goodwill gesture as China’s climate envoy, Xie Zhenhua, concludes talks with the US counterpart, John Kerry. It is too early to gauge the implications, but this gesture could pave the way for further climate agreements.
Impact on Global Climate and COP28 Summit
China’s actions to reduce methane emissions come ahead of the COP28 summit, where reducing methane emissions from the energy industry is a key focus. The rapid reduction of methane, which has potent warming effects, can significantly affect global temperatures. Scientists emphasize the importance of curbing methane release from the fossil fuel sector.
Addressing Methane Emissions in China
The majority of China’s methane emissions from the energy sector are linked to coal mining. The national plan outlines measures to reduce methane leakage and releases from the energy, oil, and gas sectors. It also addresses emissions from the livestock industry, rice paddies, landfills, and sewage treatment plants.
The Need for Collaborative Efforts
The success of China’s plan hinges on cooperation between the government and industry, particularly the influential energy sector. This national plan provides a framework to encourage various entities to work together in reducing methane emissions.
Global Efforts to Tackle Methane Emissions
Countries worldwide are increasingly committed to reducing avoidable methane emissions, especially from fossil fuel production, as climate change becomes an urgent concern. Strategies to cap emissions from aging oil and gas operations, such as those in Turkmenistan, are being discussed.
China’s Role in Methane Emission Reduction
China’s substantial methane emissions from coal mining, coupled with its increasing production of coal, highlight the importance of addressing this issue. Enhancing methane utilization can reduce China’s dependence on traditional fossil fuels
1. What is China’s plan to reduce methane emissions?
Answer: China has unveiled an action plan to reduce methane emissions from various sectors, including coal mining, rice farming, and gas operations.
2. Why does China’s plan lack specific emission reduction targets?
Answer: China’s plan to combat methane emissions lacks specific targets, raising questions about the effectiveness of the measures.
3. How does China plan to combat methane emissions effectively?
Answer: China is focusing on improving monitoring, reporting, and data transparency to effectively curb methane emissions. The country is also using new technologies to detect methane pollution.
4. Why didn’t China join the Global Methane Pledge to reduce emissions?
Answer: China did not join the Global Methane Pledge, which aims to reduce methane emissions by 30% by the end of the decade, opting for its own approach.
5. What is the significance of China’s climate initiative and goodwill gesture?
Answer: China’s release of the plan is considered a goodwill gesture and may pave the way for further climate agreements as the country’s climate envoy, Xie Zhenhua, concludes talks with the US counterpart, John Kerry.
6. How can China’s efforts to reduce methane emissions impact global climate goals?
Answer: China’s actions to reduce methane emissions, especially from the energy sector, can significantly affect global temperatures and align with the goals of international climate summits like COP28.
By Yashika Desai