Methane mitigation policies cover 13% emissions, most not stringent enough: Study

Source: The post is based on the article “Methane mitigation policies cover 13% emissions, most not stringent enough: Study” published in Down To Earth on 23rd May 2023

What is the News?

According to a study, only 13% of methane emissions are covered by global methane mitigation policies.

What is Methane?

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Methane is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide over 20 years.

It is responsible for around 30% of the rise in global temperatures since the Industrial Revolution.

Agriculture, fossil fuels as well as solid waste and wastewater are the three major sources of methane.

What are Methane Policies?

Methane policies are actions by governments that explicitly aim to monitor, prevent, or reduce methane emissions from anthropogenic sources. 

Currently, 281 policies are in place across sectors that release methane, including energy, waste, and agriculture.

The researchers found that 90% of identified national policies were from three regions: North America (39%), Europe (30%), and Asia Pacific (21%).

The policies targeting fossil methane (coal, oil, and gas) are lower than biogenic methane (released by living organisms).

This trend has emerged despite readily available solutions to cut methane emissions from the fossil fuel sector.

What about Methane policies in India?

In India, there are no effective policies targeting methane emissions from rice cultivation and biomass burning (burning of crop waste residues such as rice paddy straw.

In 1997, the Government of India designed a policy to extract Coal bed Methane from coal-bearing areas prior to the mining of coal.

But the policy was ineffective in incentivising coal bed methane production.

At present, coal bed methane is not produced from any working or operational coal mines in the country

Note: Coal bed methane is the methane produced during the coal formation process, which gets trapped on the surface of the coal in tiny pores and fractures.

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