US special envoy for climate John Kerry and European Commission’s Frans Timmermans (who leads international negotiations on climate) announced this week that 31 countries have signed the Global Methane Pledge. 

More are being sought as nations approach the Glasgow Climate Change Conference. 

Don’t count of New Zealand being one of those.

Countries joining the Global Methane Pledge commit to a collective goal of reducing global methane emissions by at least 30 percent from 2020 levels by 2030 and moving towards using highest tier IPCC good practice inventory methodologies to quantify methane emissions, with a particular focus on high emission sources. 

Successful implementation of the Pledge would reduce warming by at least 0.2 degrees Celsius by 2050.

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, accounts for about half of the 1.0 degree Celsius net rise in global average temperature since the pre-industrial era, making methane action an essential complement to energy sector decarbonization.

But in NZ, cows are our chief source of methane emissions … and we love our cows.

As we reported in this recent post, while NZ farmers are beginning to resign themselves to measuring on-farm GHG emissions, we are years away from that being achieved according to rigorous standards across all farms, and even further from committing to serious reduction targets.

NZ’s Climate Commission calls for an overall biogenic methane reduction target of only 12% by 2030 from 2005 levels. Our Government won’t take a stand until next year.

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