EPA launches global initiative to cut methane emission, fight climate change

The initiative was launched in partnership with Mexico's Ministry of Environment along with 36 other

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched a new Global Methane Initiative that urges stronger international action and expands on existing global efforts to address near-term climate change by reducing emission of methane, a potent greenhouse (GHG) gas.

The initiative launched in partnership with Mexico's Ministry of Environment along with 36 other countries, the European Commission, the Asian Development Bank and Inter-American Development Bank aims to cut methane emission, while developing clean energy and stronger economies.

The initiative modeled on the existing structure of the Methane to Markets Partnership, an international partnership launched in 2004 to reduce GHG emissions, will enhance efforts and encourage new financial commitments from the developed country partners to combat climate change.

The initiative, supporting the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has secured a commitment of $50m from the US over the next five years and is seeking similar pledges from other developed countries, to eliminate more than 1.5 billion metric tons of CO2 equivalents.

EPA administrator Lisa Jackson said that methane emissions pollute the air and contribute to the global challenge of climate change, and leaving them untapped is a major missed opportunity.

"Through this growing partnership we can convert this harmful pollutant into clean energy and create new economic prospects for people around the world," Jackson said.