Leaders vow to protect forests, plug methane leaks at COP26

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News: World leaders promised to protect Earth’s forests, cut methane emissions and help South Africa halt itself off coal at the U.N. climate summit.

What is Global methane Pledge?

The Global Methane Pledge, first announced in September, now covers emissions from two-thirds of the global economy

Nearly 90 countries have joined a U.S.-and EU-led effort to slash emissions of methane by 30% by 2030 from 2020 levels,

China, Russia, and India have not signed up, while Australia has said it will not back the pledge.

Why it is needed?

Methane is more short-lived in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide but 80 times more potent in warming the earth.

Methane is generated in cows’ digestive systems, in landfill waste, and in oil and gas production. It is estimated that Methane has accounted for 30% of global warming since pre-industrial times.

What commitments were made to reverse deforestation and land degradation?

More than 100 national leaders pledged to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by the end of the decade.

They also established $19 billion in public and private funds to invest in protecting and restoring forests.

The private sector has also pledged to stop investing in activities linked to deforestation such as cattle, palm oil, and soybean farming and pulp production.

Effective role Indigenous communities in preventing deforestation have been acknowledged.

The agreement vastly expands a commitment made by 40 countries as part of the 2014 New York Declaration of Forests, and promises more resources.

What commitments were made to support South Africa towards renewable energy transition?

United States, Britain, France and Germany announce a plan to provide funds and expertise to help South Africa phase out coal, a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.

South Africa, which gets about 90% of its electricity from coal-fired plants, will receive about $8.5 billion in loans and grants over five years to roll out more renewable energy.

Source: This post is based on the article “Leaders vow to protect forests, plug methane leaks at COP26” & “CoP26 summit | Leaders pledge to cut methane and save forests” published in ToI and The Hindu on 3rd November 2021.

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