MIT Joint Program at COP27

Nov 18, 2022
MIT Joint Program at COP27
Reducing methane emissions is the fastest way to lower global temperatures in the near term

On November 17 at the 27th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change Deputy Director/MIT Energy Initiative Senior Research Scientist Sergey Paltsev delivered a keynote presentation on the importance of proper methane emissions reduction options for climate stabilization. The keynote set the scene for a session on “Measuring Up to the Methane Challenge” organized by the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA) that included a panel of experts from Harvard University, Environmental Defense Fund, Oil & Gas Climate Initiative and others. 

Limiting warming to 1.5°C will require reductions in global methane emissions of at least 30 percent by 2030 from 2020 levels. These dramatic reductions are called for in the Global Methane Pledge, which has now been endorsed by more than 150 countries representing over half of global methane emissions. Paltsev stressed the need to accelerate mitigation actions, and using the projections from the Program’s 2021 Global Change Outlook, he illustrated that methane emission reductions should be implemented in addition to CO2 reductions.

“The oil and gas sector is where methane emissions reductions could be achieved the fastest,” said Paltsev. “We also need to employ an integrated approach to address methane emissions in all sectors and all regions of the world because methane emissions reductions provide a near-term pathway to avoiding dangerous tipping points in the global climate system.”


Photo: MIT Joint Program Deputy Director Sergey Paltsev delivered the keynote presentation at the IPIECA session on “Measuring Up to the Methane Challenge” at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (Source: IPIECA)