Pakistan joins global club to mitigate highly climate-potent methane gas: Amin

ISLAMABAD: European Union and United States (US) governments have invited Pakistan to join ‘Methane Pledge’, a global effort to be launched this year on the sidelines of United Nations (UN) annual climate summit in Glasgow later this month, unveiled Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Special Assistant on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam.

He remarked the pledge is a US and EU-led global efforts already joined by two dozen countries so far to jointly to cut methane emissions 30 percent by 2030, boosting the emerging global partnership a momentum for slowing down global warming ahead of its launch at the UN climate summit, according to a press statement issued here on Monday from the climate change ministry.

Malik Amin said, “We have conveyed our consent to the EU and US governments that Pakistan is joining the Methane Pledge to support global efforts to fight climate change.”

Now Pakistan is among the 24 new signatories to the Global Methane Pledge first announced by the United States and EU in September with the aim of boost rapid climate action prior to the onset of the two-week long global climate change summit starting from October 31.

The nine original partners include UK, Mexico, Indonesia, Japan and Nigeria, which signed on to the pledge when it was announced at the Major Economies Forum in September this year.

The partnership of the signatories of the Methane Pledge now cover 60 percent of global GDP and 30 percent of global methane emissions.

“It could have unprecedentedly a powerful bearing on the energy, agriculture and waste sectors responsible for the largescale emissions of methane gas, ” PM’s aide emphasised.

Methane is a powerful flammable and colourless greenhouse gas, about 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide in warming the planet and causing climate change. Being a biggest component of natural gas and used for fuel, its leakages are caused by poorly constructed conventional drilling operations, shale gas wells, gas pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure.

Highlighting, he recalled that Pakistan received a special invitation to join the Methane pledge club thanks to its extremely successful and globally acclaimed green initiatives and programmes and projects for climate change mitigation and adaptation including the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Programme (TBTTP), e-vehicle, renewable and ecosystem restoration projects.

The PM’s aide Malik Amin recalled that at a recent meeting, US special climate change envoy John Kerry has vehemently lauded the climate change-related green initiatives launched in Pakistan under Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision for Clean Green and climate-resilient Pakistan.

Explaining about the sources of methane emissions, the PM’s aide said that the countries represent a range of different methane emissions profiles, and as far as sources of the methane emissions in Pakistan is concerned agriculture is major source which emits significant quantity of the highly climate-potent odourless gas.

Several recent studies have already called for the need for governments to clamp down upon on methane to slow down global warming to 1.5 degrees C, an overarching goal of the global climate agreement signed in 2015 in Paris, he said.

Referring to a landmark United Nations scientific report released in August this year, Malik Amin said that strong, rapid and sustained reductions in methane emissions and slashing CO2 emissions could have an far-reaching impact on the climate.

He also said that Global Change Impact Studies Center (GCISC), a climate change research arm of the climate change ministry, has prepared the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory for year 2017- 2018 for Pakistan’s First Biennial Update Report (BUR1) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The estimation under the inventory shows the total emissions from Pakistan stand at around 489.87 million metric tonnes of carbon di-oxide equivalent (MtCO2eqv.) for year 2018, with energy sector contributing 218.94, industrial processes 25.76, agriculture, forestry and land use 223.45 and waste 21.72 MtCO2 equivalent, respectively, the PM’s aide spelt out.

Out of the total 489.87 Mt CO2 eq., as much as 135.89 Mt CO2 eq emissions are from methane, which includes 6.88Mt CO2 eq. from energy sector 2.95 MtCO2 eq. from Fuel combustion activities and 3.93 Mt CO2 Eq. are fugitive emissions from fuel, Malik Amin Aslam added.