Threats and opportunities for the achievement of the Global Methane Pledge in Africa

MDB Pavilion
Sharm el-Sheikh

As a potent greenhouse gas with a high global warming potential, assumed to be 34 times that of CO2 over a 100-year period, methane is responsible for more than one-fifth of total global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Methane (CH4) is the second most abundant anthropogenic greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide (CO2). Largely a result of human activity, methane concentrations in the atmosphere have more than doubled over the last two centuries.

According to the Global Methane Initiative (GMI), 2020 global anthropogenic methane emissions were dominated by enteric fermentation (27%), followed by oil and gas (24%), municipal solid waste management (11%), coal mining (9%), and wastewater management (7%). By 2030, global emissions of methane are likely to increase by a further 9%.

Due to its relatively short atmospheric lifetime, about 12 years, and its global warming potential (GWP), reducing anthropogenic methane emissions would have a drastic mitigation effect on climate change but requires an understanding of the largest sources of emissions to target abatement interventions more effectively.

At COP26, a joint US–EU led coalition of more than 100 countries pledged to reduce 2030 methane emissions by 30 % below 2020 levels. This entails that robust measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) of methane emissions would be key to enhance targets, policies, and actions in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), increase access to external funding sources and demonstrate progress toward green and sustainable development and other national priorities.

In support to this initiative, the African Development Bank (AfDB) conducted a study and developed a methodology to quantify methane emissions by sector and country in Africa, serves as a 2020 baseline against which to periodically assessment will be done on progress in the light of the US–EU led initiative. The main objective of the session is to discuss potential abatement options highlighted by this study, within the framework of the Global Methane Pledge and existing funding vehicles from Multi-lateral Development Banks (MDBs) and other development partners. The specific objectives are to:

  • Unfold the roles of MDBs in the implementation of the Global Methane Pledge: overview of current/potential initiatives and funding vehicles (e.g., the Africa Climate Change Fund)
  • Discuss methane global mitigation potentials and replicable abatement options: key findings and conclusions from a methane emissions assessment and abatement technologies in Africa released by AfDB and the upcoming CCAC Africa Assessment on the region’s methane emissions and the quantified development benefits of mitigation actions.
  • Discuss opportunities on closing the funding gaps for methane mitigation actions, including the engagement with the private sector: case studies on the oil and gas sector and the municipal solid waste sector

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