The fight against climate change goes beyond reducing CO2 emissions
While global climate efforts have tended to focus on the fight against carbon dioxide, many other threats that attract less attention are just as dangerous to our planet.
Negotiations over these more granular issues take place away from the limelight. But the policies and agreements that emerge are some of the most vital steps in the fight against climate change.
Over the past few weeks, one of these issues our team has focused on has been methane reduction. Methane, one of the most prevalent greenhouse gases, has accounted for nearly a third of global heating since the pre-industrial era. Yet efforts to combat it have been half-hearted.
On Monday, my country chose to join the fight to reverse this trend. We became one of 24 new signatories to the Global Methane Pledge, initiated by the US this year. The pledge, which is outside the traditional UN framework on climate change negotiations, committed its signatories to a 30% cut in methane emissions by the end of this decade.
Methane is up to 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, though it breaks down faster. Making urgent and drastic cuts will therefore have an immediate impact on reducing global temperatures.
Among the negotiating teams of climate vulnerable countries such as mine, however, scepticism is still rife. While the goals of the pledge are admirable, actions are needed to convince those of us most at risk that these efforts will pay dividends.
The international community has a recent history of lagging behind on some of its most celebrated pledges. The $100bn annual target for climate finance for poor countries, for instance, from 10 Cops ago, has still not been reached. Progress on the Paris agreement’s key commitments is mostly lagging around the world.
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