US outlines measures to cut methane emissions by 80% in next 15 years

(The Guardian, 2 Dec 2023) Regulations would cut equivalent of 1.5bn metric tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2038, head of EPA says at Cop28.

The United States has announced a major crackdown on methane emissions as part of a new effort by several countries at the Cop28 summit to curb the “super pollutant” that is responsible for turbocharging the climate crisis.

The US has used the climate conference, which is administered by the UN and being held in Dubai, to unveil new regulations it estimates will cut methane emissions from its vast oil and gas industry by 80% from levels that would be expected without the rule, a total of 58m tonnes by 2038.

The rule is the centrepiece of a series of actions by countries at Cop28 to limit methane, which is much shorter-lived in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide but up to 80 times more powerful in heating the Earth. Methane is responsible for about a third of the warming already experienced by the planet and the US is one of the world’s largest emitters.

“Sharp cuts in methane emissions are among the most critical actions the United States can take in the short term to slow the rate of climate change,” said Michael Regan, administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, which has created the rule.

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The Guardian, 2 Dec 2023: US outlines measures to cut methane emissions by 80% in next 15 years