California launches international methane-reduction initiative during Climate Week
For immediate release
NEW YORK – Today, California announced the launch of a new climate initiative that will recruit subnational governments worldwide to commit to mitigating and reducing methane, with founding signatories from Mexico, South Africa, Brazil, Nigeria, and India.
The new Subnational Methane Action Initiative was launched by Gov. Gavin Newsom at Climate Week in New York City. Seven jurisdictions from across the globe have signed on so far.
“The climate crisis knows no borders. We’re partnering with governments around the world to tackle methane emissions, a dangerous pollutant that has 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide,” said Gov. Newsom. “By working together on strategies informed by science, like deploying methane detection satellites, we can help address this global threat.”
California set a goal to reduce 40% of its methane emissions by 2030 compared to 2013 levels, and is leading the country with innovative solutions, including $100 million in funding to support a constellation of satellites that can monitor for large methane plumes. The California Air Resources Board (CARB), California Environmental Protection Agency and California Natural Resources Agency are collaboratively leading these efforts.
Tackling methane emissions is key; while the impacts of other emissions reductions may not be felt until later, it only takes a decade for methane to break down. That means methane reductions can reduce the effects of climate change in the short term, and are critical for putting the world on a path to limiting warming by 1.5°C, the amount that scientists estimate would avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
“In California, we know that jurisdictions have an opportunity to lead climate action, and reducing harmful emissions, such as those from methane, is work that all levels of government can play a role in,” said CARB Chair Liane Randolph. “Through this partnership, we are making it clear that progress on big issues–like air quality and climate change–is only possible if we take committed action collectively to leave a healthier planet for future generations.”
“This partnership recognizes the critical regulatory role subnational governments play in meeting our most ambitious global climate goals,” said Yana Garcia, California Secretary for Environmental Protection. “No government can go it alone. As we work to mitigate climate change’s most harmful impacts, it is essential that we move urgently to slash methane emissions from all sectors, including energy, agriculture, and waste.”
“We’re tackling the root causes of climate change head-on, and confronting methane emissions is one more critical step towards real impact,” said California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot. “Turning the page on more than a century of environmental harm requires global solutions, bold ideas and coming together to get there. The actions and agreements from this week point us all in a single, significant direction.”
Founding signatories from Mexico and South Africa attended the launch event. Participants in this effort include:
- California (USA)
- Queretaro (Mexico)
- Gauteng (South Africa)
- Espirito Santo (Brazil)
- Cross River State (Nigeria)
- Yucatan (Mexico)
- Delhi (India)
Other partners in the effort include the Climate Group, which convenes subnational governments for climate action through the Under2 Coalition, and the UC Berkeley Center for Law, Energy, and Environment, which will work with state agencies and Initiative members to create action plans, track progress, organize regular peer-to-peer learning opportunities, and share best practices.
Methane accounts for almost 30% of current global warming and is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period, making it a critical target in efforts to curb the impacts of climate change. Research shows that lowering methane emissions can prevent up to 0.3°C of warming by 2050.
While over 150 countries have agreed to collectively reduce global methane emissions by at least 30% below 2020 levels by 2030 through the Global Methane Pledge of 2021, meeting this target will require significant efforts from subnational jurisdictions. As the primary regulators of emissions from agriculture, energy and landfills, these levels of government are particularly suited to reducing methane emissions.