Supporting Africa’s efforts to abate methane emissions - Progress towards the Global Methane Pledge


The 2022 IPCC Sixth Assessment report estimates that methane – a relatively short lived but potent climate forcer, with high global warming potential – accounts for almost a third of observed warming to date and is a major determinant of near-term global temperature increases. Therefore, methane emissions reductions would be critical for limiting global warming. Emissions budgets estimated by the IPCC call for a 34% decrease in methane emissions by 2030 and 51% by 2050 relative to 2019 among other reductions, in scenarios to limit global warming to 1.5°C.   

Regional perspectives on financing the energy transition– channeling finance flows and enhancing financial readiness for low emissions and climate-resilient development to support implementation and the Global Methane Pledge (GMP), launched at COP26, commits participants to take voluntary actions to reduce global methane emissions by at least 30% from 2020 levels by 2030. This requires robust measurement, reporting and verification of methane emissions to enhance targets, policies, and actions in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), to increase access to external funding sources and demonstrate progress toward green and sustainable development enabling environment to address barriers to action: Financial, technological and capacity building needs in the area of Methane Abatement. More than 25 countries in Africa have joined the GMP and have committed to reducing methane emissions.

The African Development Bank in 2022 launched a report on high-level assessment of anthropogenic methane emissions in Africa. The report included case studies on potential evolution and abatement in four sectors (i.e., including oil and gas, municipal solid waste management, coal mining, and wastewater management with some references to livestock) that showed that the annual methane emissions excluding livestock, totaled 4.7 million tonnes CH4, equivalent to 160 million tonnes CO2e. Oil and gas was the highest emitting sector (48%), followed by municipal solid waste (35%), wastewater (16%), then coal (1%).

A 2021 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) study found that reducing methane emissions is one of the most effective steps the energy sector can take to help tackle the climate crisis. The Paris Agreement cannot be achieved without reducing methane emissions by 40-45 per cent by 2030.  According to the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, agriculture is the largest single source of global methane emissions, responsible for roughly 40% of manmade emissions; fossil fuels are the second largest source, responsible for approximately 36% of emissions, with waste and others making up the rest. 

It is widely acknowledged that in the four key methane emitting sectors, the technologies and production practices/techniques exist for instance, feed additives for cattle and improved agricultural productivity and deployment of existing management practices; new rice-farming techniques; advanced approaches to oil and gas leak detection, coal methane capture, and modern water and waste facilities among others.

Several partners of the GMP, such as the Global Methane Hub (GMH), Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), national governments, among others have since COP26, taken steps to prepare action plans which include regulations to reduce oil and gas methane emissions, national planning and policies, sector-specific and country specific-mitigation needs, and national capacity building and institutional strengthening for methane abatement. 

Recognizing African countries common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities, the AfDB is furthering this work on methane abatement with partners to explore how its projects could also contribute to methane emissions reductions in its Regional Member Countries. The United States government has pledged a $5 million grant to the African Development Bank’s multi-donor trust fund, Africa Climate Change Fund to support efforts to abate methane gas emission, across Africa.

Objective: To discuss methane emissions and abatement potential, the challenges and opportunities as well as the efforts made since the GMP in Africa. The event will also detail plans for the launch of a fourth call for proposals on methane abatement under the ACCF. 

A panel of speakers will:

  • Introduce and increase the overall understanding of the progress towards the Global Methane Pledge, which has now been endorsed by more than 25 African countries.
  • Listen to National Government representative on how they are addressing methane emissions.
  • Engage with the partners of the GMP that are supporting countries to develop action plans, providing technical assistance and finance for national planning, capacity building and institutional strengthening for short-lived climate pollutant mitigation.  
  • Discuss the potential for collaboration with global partners on Africa’s methane abatement
  • Detail plans for the ACCF’s CFP4 on methane abatement and other financing available to support countries’ methane abatement efforts

Speakers (TBC): 

  •  AfDB: Gareth Phillips, Manager, Climate & Environment Finance Division
  • Global Methane Hub
  • Climate & Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) Secretariat: TBD
  • Climate Policy Initiative

Moderated by: Rita Effah, Senior Climate Finance Officer