Biden unveils pledge to slash global methane emissionsby 30%. US president Joe Biden has unveiled a multinational plan to control methane, regarded by the administration as the single most potent way to combat the climate crisis in the short term.
Leading an alliance of 90 countries, including for the first time Brazil, on Tuesday Biden set out new regulatory measures to limit global methane emissions by 30% from 2020 levels by the end of the decade.
The alliance includes two-thirds of the global economy and half of the top 30 major methane emitter countries. China, India and Russia have not joined the pact known as the Global Methane Pledge.
The pledge was first announced in September but Biden’s officials have since been working hard to increase the number of signatories and the momentum behind the pledge. The detailed US proposals may prove to be one of the lasting successes of the Cop26 climate conference being held in Glasgow.
Many of the regulatory measures do not require Congressional approval, and so give Biden some short-term effective measures to which he can point. The oil and gas industry is reckoned to be responsible for 30% of methane emissions in the US.
A new Environment Protection Agency rule that regulates leak detection and repair in the oil industry repealed by Donald Trump will be restored and for the first time applied to new operations in gas, including regulation of natural gas produced as a by-product of oil production that is vented or flared.
The Biden team hopes that 75% of all methane emissions will be covered.
The other major sources of methane in the US are municipal landfills, thousands of abandoned oil wells and coal mines, and finally agriculture.
New rules, due to be phased in, will require companies to oversee and inspect 3m miles (4.8m km) of pipelines, including 300,000 miles (480,000km) of transmission lines and 2.3m miles (3.7m km) of lines inside cities. In Boston alone it is estimated that 49,000 tonnes of methane leak each year.
The administration says it is working in concert with the EU and is using a mix of incentives, new disclosure rules and regulation. It stressed that the plan will create thousands of unionised jobs.
we have a small favour to ask. With much of the US now trapped in a vicious cycle of heat, wildfires and drought, our climate journalism has never been more essential, and we need your support to keep producing it.
Perhaps you’re familiar with the Guardian’s reputation for hard-hitting, urgent reporting on the environment. We view the climate crisis as the defining issue of our time. It is already here, making growing parts of our planet uninhabitable. As parts of the world emerge from the pandemic, carbon emissions are again on the rise, risking a rare opportunity to transition to a more sustainable future.
The Guardian has renounced fossil fuel advertising, becoming the first major global news organisation to do so. We have committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2030. And we are consistently increasing our investment in environmental reporting, recognising that an informed public is crucial to keeping the worst of the crisis at bay.
More than 1.5 million readers, in 180 countries, have recently taken the step to support us financially – keeping us open to all and fiercely independent. With no shareholders or billionaire owner, we can set our own agenda and provide trustworthy journalism that’s free from commercial and political influence, offering a counterweight to the spread of misinformation. When it’s never mattered more, we can investigate and challenge without fear or favour.
Police Scotland has apologised to women in Glasgow who had to walk home in darkness on Monday night after well-lit streets were blocked off due to Cop26 climate summit security concerns.
Residents near the Cop venue said police guarding the security cordon told them to walk long distances through Kelvingrove Park and sidestreets in Finnieston because main streets had suddenly been closed off.
One woman tweeted that she had been followed by a man who said he was a police officer despite requesting he leave her alone. Others said they had been told to use longer diversions when their homes were close by.
One Twitter user, Katy, wrote: “We were sent away from one exit to the main gate, then told we had to do exactly that detour to get to Partick. On the way found a 1st year student in tears because she was in the same position and had had a man following her through the dark path; a male police officer …”
Kayleigh Quinn tweeted: “Wow, Finnieston residents currently on the north side of the street who live on the south side of the street being told to walk through Kelvingrove, down Byres Road to Patrick and then back to Finnieston to get to their flat 100 yards away. It’s dark.”
We were sent away from one exit to the main gate, then told we had to do exactly that detour to get to Partick. On the way found a 1st year student in tears because she was in the same position and had had a man following her through the dark path; a male police officer.
Nina Lakhani, a Guardian journalist, said she had the same experience: “I had to walk back through unlit Kelvingrove park, took an extra 30 minutes and was damn dangerous with the wet leaves. I asked a cop how I was meant to get home, and he suggested I come back the following day!”
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, said women’s safety, particularly after the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving Met police officer, was paramount. “So if there is even a perception that women were put in a position where they weren’t safe, I know the police would want to make sure that that wasn’t something that happened again,” she said.
Assistant chief constable Gary Ritchie said Monday night’s diversions, which affected Argyle Street and Dumbarton Road, two major thoroughfares, were imposed at short notice due to “real-time changes to operational plans”.
They would not be reintroduced, and the force would talk to Glasgow city council about improved lighting in Kelvingrove Park, he promised. He implied his officers would be reminded about their duty to ensure public safety in such situations.
“While late changes and some level of disruption is inevitable when policing an event the size and scale of Cop26, we understand and apologise for the concern these changes caused and for the inconvenience to those diverted