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Methane Emissions


According to a BBC article, recently Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has invested in an Australian start-up developing climate technology with the goal of reducing methane emissions from cow burps. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that has the capacity to warm the world over a 100-year period 28 times more than carbon dioxide. Methane emissions play a key role in climate change and global warming.


Methane is emitted by a variety of sources, including natural gas and oil production, livestock farming, and landfills. The largest source of methane emissions is the production and transportation of fossil fuels, including natural gas. Methane can escape during the drilling, extraction, and transportation of these fuels, leading to significant emissions.


Cows and other ruminants produce substantial volumes of methane during digestion, making livestock farming an important source of methane emissions. Additionally, methane emissions from livestock production can be created by manure and other waste. Another big source of methane emissions in landfills. Methane gas is created in landfills as organic garbage breaks down. This methane may escape and contribute to climate change if it is not managed properly.


Reducing methane emissions is crucial in the fight against climate change. There are several strategies for reducing methane emissions, including improving leak detection and repair in natural gas infrastructure, implementing more sustainable livestock farming practices, and managing waste more effectively. Additionally, a number of technologies, like the creation of biogas from waste and the use of methane as a fuel source, can absorb and make use of methane emissions. These innovations can produce a sustainable energy source in addition to lowering methane emissions.


Following are some major initiatives to Reduce Methane Emissions in India and the World :


  • The World Resources Institute's (WRI) GHG Protocol's tools and methodology are used by the industry-led India Greenhouse Gas Program to support Indian businesses in tracking their progress toward measuring and managing GHG emissions.


  • Harit Dhara: Made from natural phytosources, Harit Dhara is an anti-methanogenic feed additive. When included in cattle feed, it is proven to be quite effective in lowering enteric methane output by up to 17% to 20%.


  • Methane Alert and Response System: At COP27, UNEP's International Methane Emissions Observatory unveiled the Methane Alert and Response System (MARS), a fresh effort to speed up the implementation of the Global Methane Pledge by transparently stepping up international efforts to identify and address significant methane emissions.


  • The Global Methane Initiative: It began operations in 2004. It is an international public-private effort that promotes the recovery and use of methane as a valuable energy source in three sectors: coal mines, oil and gas systems, and biogas (including agricultural, municipal solid waste, and wastewater). It emphasises group efforts and an economical strategy to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, promote energy security, boost economic growth, improve air quality, and enhance worker safety.


  • Global Methane Pledge: To spur action to cut methane emissions, the Global Methane Pledge was introduced at COP26 in November 2021. Led by the United States and the European Union, the Pledge now has 111 country participants who together are responsible for 45% of global human-caused methane emissions. By joining the Pledge, countries commit to work together in order to collectively reduce methane emissions by at least 30% below 2020 levels by 2030.


In conclusion, reducing methane emissions is critical in mitigating the effects of climate change. Implementing strategies to reduce emissions from natural gas and oil production, livestock farming, and landfills, as well as utilizing technologies to capture and utilize methane, are important steps in achieving this goal.


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