Emissions of methane must be rapidly reduced in order for the countries of the world to meet the goal of the Paris Agreement on a global warming of the earth’s temperature by a maximum of 1.5 degrees, according to a UN report released next week.
Methane has a greater impact on the climate than carbon dioxide per unit weight, while methane is broken down more quickly in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. This means that a reduction in methane emissions could lead to a faster decrease in the earth’s average temperature, compared to reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
The report states that it is possible to reduce methane emissions from human activity by 45 percent by 2030. Such a reduction would lead to a slowdown in warming by 0.3 degrees by 2040.
Agriculture accounts for 40 percent of all methane emissions caused by humans. The incineration of fossil fuels accounts for 35 percent, and the decomposition of waste on landfills, for example, accounts for 20 percent.