Cutting Down Methane – UPSC GS3

Background: In CoP 26 summit, 105 countries have pledged to reduce their methane emissions by 30% from 2020 levels, by 2030. (Methane Pledge)
Why Methane?
  • IPCC research estimates that 1/4th of global warming is done by CH4 or Methane.
  • Cutting Methane emissions is easier compared to other emissions due to tech solutions.
  • UN’s latest assessment is that over 50% of available targeted measures have negative costs i.e. they quickly end up saving money.
  • But it is not yet clear that industrialized meat production system, which globally accounts for 32% of anthropogenic methane emissions, will be a part of reform or not.
What India should do?
  • India has not signed Methane Pledge.
  • Livestock and paddy cultivation, which accounts for 8% of CH4 emissions, is the main reason behind India not signing the agreement.
  • India can use technologies that reduce methanogenic activity in bovines and sheep. For example, ICMR has developed a feed supplement that cuts down their methane emissions by 17-20%.
  • Further India can also take a lead in the future “green meats” or laboratory meats.
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