Four key actions can kick-start delivery of the global reduction in methane emissions promised at COP26, says the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), an international organisation, in a new report.

US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (left) and Senator Martin Heinrich participate in a news conference on the Senate vote on methane regulation outside of the US Capitol on 28 April 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

In Glasgow, more than 100 countries representing 70% of the global economy formally launched the Global Methane Initiative, which aims to cut methane emissions by at least 30% from 2020 levels by 2030. Methane emissions today are at the highest levels ever recorded.

First, the EIA recommends a harmonisation of definitions, methodologies and reporting on methane emissions to establish a level playing field. Second, it wants to see national methane action plans and accelerated action by ‘super-emitters‘.

Third, developing countries need technical and financial assistance, and capacity building. Fourth, countries and international bodies such as the UN Environment Programme, Climate & Clean Air Coalition, International Energy Agency, European Space Agency and Nasa, must coordinate their activities.

The EIA also suggests that any credible efforts to reduce methane emissions must be bound to a reduction of fossil fuel production and consumption because the largest component of natural gas is methane and it is also a by-product of oil and coal use.