Global methane emissions soared by a record amount in 2021, eclipsing the record set the year before, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, demonstrating the huge challenge facing policymakers who have pledged to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
Since last year, about 100 countries have signed on to a Global Methane Pledge, which aims to cut emissions 30 percent by the end of the decade. Some major emitters, such as Russia and China, still have not.
“Our data show that global emissions continue to move in the wrong direction at a rapid pace,” Rick Spinrad, the NOAA administrator, said in a statement. “The evidence is consistent, alarming, and undeniable.”
Recently, climate experts and diplomats have put extra emphasis on controlling methane emissions because it is relatively easy to reduce the emissions by stopping methane escaping from oil and gas wells and leaking from pipelines. Major multinational oil and gas companies have emitted methane in the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico. And Russia ranks among the biggest emitters with aging pipelines stretching for roughly 2,500 miles from the remote Yamal Peninsula in Russia to consumers in Europe.
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