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California launches subnational partnership on reducing methane emissions at COP28



California, along with a group of international partners, announced the official kickoff of a subnational partnership focused on reducing methane, on the sidelines of the United Nations climate summit in Dubai this weekend.

The Subnational Methane Action Coalition, unveiled at the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP28) on Sunday, aims to further cooperation among jurisdictions that administer and regulate key sources of methane, including agriculture, energy and landfills, per the initiative.

Going forward, the 15 signatories of the coalition have committed to sharing goals and best practices geared toward minimizing methane — a short-lived pollutant that is 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.  

“Tackling methane emissions is one of the best investments we can make to fight climate change now and produce benefits in the near future to leave a better planet for generations to come,” Liane Randolph, chair of the California Air Resources Board, said in a statement.

Randolph stressed the importance of partnering with subnational governments across the world to find solutions for mitigating methane, which accounts for nearly 30 percent of current global warming.


The day prior to the subnational coalition launch, the Biden administration announced new methane reduction regulations, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said could prevent 58 million tons of emissions from 2024 to 2038.

The rule would aim to achieve this target through policies focused on curbing leaks, while also phasing out flaring — burning off excess gas — in new oil wells.

The EPA’s announcement occurred as COP28 began in Dubai, where the U.S. is seeking to demonstrate its efforts to combat climate change and urge other countries to get on board.

While crediting the Biden administration’s progress on the issue, California officials had emphasized the critical role subnational governments could also play in climate talks, just prior to their departure for COP28 last week.

Formalizing the role of subnational entities, they explained, could help reinforce the commitment of the U.S. to climate action — regardless of who is at the helm of the federal government.

In addition to California, the two other North American members of the Subnational Methane Action Coalition are the state of Colorado and the Canadian province of British Columbia.

The 12 other partners include Queretaro and Yucatan, Mexico; Gauteng, South Africa; Espirito Santo, Rio Grande do Sul and Pernambuco, Brazil; Cross River State, Nigeria; Delhi, India; Baden-Württemberg, Germany; Santa Cruz, Bolivia; and Gyeonggi, South Korea.


“We certainly don’t think we have it all figured out in California,” Wade Crowfoot, secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, said during a Monday Zoom webinar.

“But as the world’s fifth largest economy, believe it or not, California has a really influential role,” Crowfoot continued. “So when we’re leaders fanning out across this huge conference, that’s the message we’re sending.”

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Source: The Hill

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