Report•November 9, 2022
Solutions Brief: Cutting Methane
Rapidly cutting emissions of methane is increasingly recognized as the most effective strategy for slowing the pace of climate change during the remainder of this decade, buying time for communities to adapt and for additional carbon pollution-reduction measures to be implemented. As a result, governments, businesses, and civil society are focusing heightened attention on curtailing emissions from the largest sources of methane: the energy sector (specifically oil, natural gas, and coal production), the agriculture sector (specifically livestock and rice), and waste management (particularly landfills).
At the same time, remote-sensing data from satellites and aircraft are beginning to provide far more detail on where emissions are coming from: not only which sectors, but also which specific facilities in which particular jurisdictions. Those data can help decisionmakers prioritize and finetune reduction strategies. The data can also provide clearer identification of–and thus accountability for–ongoing emissions.
This report explains the role of methane in global warming. It provides a snapshot of global sources of methane emissions with specific focus on the United States, summarizes cost-effective approaches for reducing emissions, and explores how new data can play a key role in enabling rapid reductions.