Partners of the Global Methane Pledge (GMP) have committed to over $1 billion in new grant funding to reduce methane, more than triple the current level of investment.
The announcement was made during the COP28 climate summit’s Global Methane Pledge Ministerial. Governments, the European Commission (EC), philanthropies, and the private sector significantly exceeded the target set by U.S. President Joe Biden of raising at least $220 million at the launch of the Methane Finance Sprint in April.
The Sprint commitments include $255 million for the re-launch of the World Bank Global Flaring and Methane Reduction Partnership, $200 million for the launch of the Enteric Fermentation Accelerator, and additional support for the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), and the International Methane Emissions Observatory (IMEO), according to a news release from the GMP.
Oil and Gas Sector Initiatives
The Oil and Gas Methane Partnership (OGMP) 2.0, the flagship oil and gas reporting and mitigation program of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), also announced new members. The partnership now represents over 120 companies with assets in more than 60 countries on five continents and covers over 35 percent of the world’s oil and gas production and over 70 percent of liquefied natural gas (LNG) flows.
Meanwhile, the World Bank launched its Global Flaring and Methane Reduction Partnership (GFMR) with $255 million in new grant funding to catalyze oil and gas methane and flaring reduction in developing countries. According to the release, access to project development and financing support through the GFMR will be contingent on commitments to achieve near-zero methane emissions by 2030 by reducing methane intensity to below 0.2 percent, achieve zero routine flaring by 2030, measure and report methane emissions through the OGMP 2.0 framework, and endorse the GMP. The GFMR is supported by financial contributions from the United Arab Emirates, United States, Germany, Norway, BP, ENI, Equinor, Occidental, Shell, and TotalEnergies.
Further, the USA, the EC, and twelve other natural gas importing and exporting countries formed an international working group to advance comparable and reliable information about methane and carbon dioxide emissions across the natural gas supply chain to drive global emissions reductions, according to the release.
The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) is expanding its satellite monitoring campaign to provide actionable data to reduce emissions from large-magnitude methane plumes and flares, supported by in-kind contributions from OGCI companies. ExxonMobil also plans to “provide up to $25 million in in-kind assistance to address capability shortcomings to reduce methane emissions”, the release said.
Methane Data Projects
During COP28, IMEO announced the expansion of its Methane Alert and Response System (MARS) after a successful pilot phase. MARS is the first global system that connects satellite-detected methane emissions with a trackable notification process. During its pilot phase this year, MARS detected over 1,000 energy sector methane plumes globally, linked 400 of the plumes to energy sector facilities, and notified 127 events to six national governments and relevant OGMP 2.0 member companies.
In addition, the Global Methane Hub, a philanthropic organization focused on methane emissions reduction, in collaboration with IMEO and its partners, launched a campaign to “comprehensively deliver increased funding to enable governments, businesses, and other actors to radically reduce methane emissions, including harmful leaks, and drive effective policy change through never-before-leveraged data”, according to the release. At COP28, the Global Methane Hub announced $10 million in seed funding toward the campaign and a funding target of $300 million by COP29.
New Members and Fund Contributions
Joining the GMP are Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Romania, and Angola, which brings the total participation to 155 governments. Canada, the Federated States of Micronesia, Germany, Japan, and Nigeria joined the USA and EU as GMP Champions.
Governments and the EC contributed over $408 million in funding toward the Sprint, including $3.5 million from Canada, $190 million (EUR 175 million) from the EC, $22.7 million from France, $21.8 million from Germany, $3 million from Ireland, $7.7 million from Japan, $100 million from the United Arab Emirates, $2.5 million from the United Kingdom, and $57 million from the USA. Philanthropies and the private sector contributed over $637 million to the total, the release noted.
In addition, international financial institutions approved over $3.5 billion in new investments in methane-reducing projects since COP27. The approvals include $375 million from the Green Climate Fund and partners, over $1.9 billion (EUR 1.78 billion) from the European Investment Bank, over $218 million (EUR 200 million) from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and $372.5 million from the Inter-American Development Bank.
The Global Methane Pledge was launched at COP26 by the EU and the USA. The group aims to catalyze global action and strengthen support for existing international methane emission reduction initiatives to advance technical and policy work. Partners of the pledge agree to take voluntary actions to contribute to a collective effort to reduce global methane emissions at least 30 percent from 2020 levels by 2030, according to the group’s website.
A letter signed by 320 civil society organizations, including Greenpeace and the Sierra Club, said the pledges made at COP28 were not enough, as they addressed only companies’ operational emissions, while “ignoring the vast majority of their total emissions”. The letter notes that “80 to 90 percent of oil and gas companies’ emissions result when the fossil fuels they produce and sell are burned”.
Meanwhile, Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp said in a statement that the pledges resulted in the “single most impactful day I’ve seen at any COP in 30 years in terms of slowing the rate of warming”. Krupp added, “I am especially pleased to see the participation of many national oil and gas companies, a major industry segment that has been largely absent from the methane dialogue”.
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