More than 30 countries have signed onto a U.S. and European Union-led pledge aiming to cut global emissions of a potent greenhouse gas called methane by the end of the decade, special climate envoy John KerryJohn KerryOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Climate divides conservative Democrats in reconciliation push Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Altria — Walrus detectives: Scientists recruit public to spot mammal from space 12 top U.S. officials to join Biden at major climate conference MORE said Monday.
“We’re really excited to see that over 30 countries have joined us in committing to reduce global methane pollution at least 30 percent by 2030,” Kerry said during a ministerial meeting on the pledge.
Kerry clarified that each country isn't required to reduce their own methane emissions by 2030 since it's a global goal, saying instead that “every country will do what it can in order to be able to reduce methane emissions.”
He also said that nine of the world’s top 20 emitters had joined.
A press release from the State Department clarified that Argentina, Ghana, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Mexico and the United Kingdom had initially announced support for the pledge, but that 24 more countries now are joining it.
“We’re excited about the rapid response and general acceptance of the proposition,” Kerry said.
Charities are also putting money behind the cause, with a new announcement that philanthropic organizations will put $223 million toward implementing the goal.
Over a 100-year period, methane has 25 times the climate change impact of carbon dioxide. It is significantly more potent than CO2 but also spends less time in the atmosphere.
Monday's announcement comes ahead of the COP26 global climate summit, which is slated to begin at the end of this month.
--Updated at 9:20 a.m.