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Methane: A crucial opportunity in the climate fight (EDF)

December 19, 2022

Cutting methane emissions is the fastest opportunity we have to immediately slow the rate of global warming, even as we decarbonize our energy systems.

It’s an opportunity we can’t afford to miss.

Methane has more than 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide over the first 20 years after it reaches the atmosphere. Even though CO2 has a longer-lasting effect, methane sets the pace for warming in the near term.

At least 25% of today’s global warming is driven by methane from human actions.

Why the methane moment is now

For many years, methane was overlooked in the climate change conversation. But scientists and policymakers are increasingly recognizing that methane reductions are crucial.

Slowing today’s unprecedented rate of warming can help avert our most acute climate risks, including crop loss, wildfires, extreme weather and rising sea levels.

Atmospheric concentration of methane is increasing faster now than at any time since the 1980s.

Which means that now is the methane moment: Acting now to reduce methane emissions will have immediate benefits to the climate that reductions in carbon dioxide cannot provide on their own.