The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) recently released a report titled 'The Imperative of Reducing Methane Emissions from Fossil Fuels - An Assessment of Climate and Health Benefits.' This report delves into the significance of curbing methane emissions from fossil fuel operations in the context of global temperature.
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) recently released a report titled ‘The Imperative of Reducing Methane Emissions from Fossil Fuels – An Assessment of Climate and Health Benefits.’ This report delves into the significance of curbing methane emissions from fossil fuel operations in the context of global temperature.
It suggests that such efforts could potentially prevent a temperature increase of up to 0.1°C on a global scale. Remarkably, this reduction in temperature rise within the mid-century surpasses the emissions impact of removing every car and truck from the world’s roads immediately.
The report builds upon the foundation laid by the UNEP/CCAC’s Global Methane Assessment Report published in 2021. Notably, the report underscores the manifold advantages of taking action against methane emissions, which encompass preventing nearly one million premature deaths due to ozone exposure, mitigating 90 million tonnes of crop losses resulting from ozone and climate changes, and salvaging approximately 85 billion hours of labor hours lost due to extreme heat by the year 2050. Moreover, the report calls for a comprehensive evaluation of methane mitigation’s integrated climate and air pollution costs and benefits.
The International Energy Agency’s Net Zero Emissions by 2050 (NZE) Scenario, which the IEA defined to be a condition that anticipates a decline in fossil fuel demand. The report suggests making it imperative to cease approving new conventional long-lead-time oil and gas projects for development post-2023, along with coal mine expansions. However, the report evaluates that even the NZE Scenario falls short of delivering a profound reduction in methane emissions, underscoring the need for additional measures to align with the 1.5°C warming limit.
An eye-opening revelation from the report is that the impact of an immediate methane reduction target is comparable to the hypothetical scenario of eliminating all CO2 emissions from the world’s heavy industry.
This immediate methane abatement target can save nearly one million lives from premature deaths due to ozone exposure, but it can also curtail 90 million tonnes of crop losses caused by ozone and climate shifts and rescue approximately 85 billion working hours lost to heat exposure by 2050.
Moreover, by providing approximately $260 billion in direct economic benefits, it can catalyze the necessary regulatory frameworks and a significant uptick in investments to mitigate methane emissions from fossil fuel production.