Global Methane Assessment

The Global Methane Assessment, produced by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), shows that human-caused methane emissions can be reduced by up to 45% this decade.

Such reductions would avoid nearly 0.3°C of global warming by 2045 and would be consistent with keeping the Paris Climate Agreement’s goal to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius (1.5˚C) within reach.

This assessment, for the first time, integrates the climate and air pollution costs and benefits from methane mitigation. Because methane is a key ingredient in the formation of ground-level ozone (smog), a powerful climate forcer and dangerous air pollutant, a 45 per cent reduction would prevent 260 000 premature deaths, 775 000 asthma-related hospital visits, 73 billion hours of lost labour from extreme heat, and 25 million tonnes of crop losses annually.

The Global Methane Assessment is complemented by additional tools and resources, including the GMA 2030 Baseline report that includes a more complete characterization of future baseline emissions.

Key findings


The atmospheric concentration of methane has more than doubled since pre-industrial times.

Methane is second only to carbon dioxide (CO2) in driving climate change. More than half of global methane emissions stem from human activities in three sectors: fossil fuels (35% of human-caused emissions), waste (20%) and agriculture (40%).

Mitigation potential in different sectors varies between countries and regions. 

The majority of the major abatement potentials can be achieved at low cost, less than US$ 600 per tonne of methane, especially in the waste sector and coal subsector in most regions and the oil and gas subsector in North America.

We have opportunities to act now

The relatively short atmospheric lifetime of methane, combined with its strong warming potential, means that actions to reduce emissions can provide benefits within a few decades.

Quick action would help limit dangerous climate feedback loops, while simultaneously delivering important health and economic benefits from reducing tropospheric ozone.