Following the news that 105 countries have signed a commitment to reduce methane emissions by 30% over this decade, George Henry, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on the global initiative:
“The global methane pledge directed by the US and EU members has led to a huge response from the international community. As methane is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide, a concerted effort on the greenhouse gas clampdowns has been a long time coming in the quest to limit global warming to 1.5°c.
“As one of the largest sources of methane emissions, agriculture will need to continue innovating new methods and technologies to mitigate environmental damage. One of the simplest moves includes shifting towards plant-rich diets and alternative sources of protein. According to GlobalData’s 2021 Q3 consumer survey, almost half (49%) of global consumers find ‘meat-free’ concepts in food and drink somewhat or very appealing.
“Innovations such as vertical farming and lab-grown meat also represent a new way of embracing technology to feed a rapidly urbanizing population. While most developed economies signed up to the pledge, the three biggest polluters, China, India, and Russia, did not. Their refusal to sign a non-binding commitment, in addition to other large emitters like Australia and Iran, displays a lack of confidence in rapid short-term solutions to pollution.
“As methane breaks down far quicker than carbon dioxide, the immediate reduction of methane emissions now would have a tangible impact in the near term. The failure to establish a binding pledge and convince the largest emitters to sign up represents a missed opportunity.”