The Imperative of Cutting Methane from Fossil Fuels

An assessment of the benefits for the climate and health

Photo depicts Burning oil flare on a blue sky

About this report

Methane is a powerful climate pollutant that is responsible for around 30% of the rise in global temperatures since the Industrial Revolution. Fossil fuel operations are the second largest contributor to anthropogenic methane emissions and the majority of these emissions can be abated with existing technology, often at low cost. 

In the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario, a huge scale up in clean energy drives down fossil fuel use and this naturally leads to lower methane emissions; however this report finds this is not sufficient to reduce methane emissions at the necessary pace and scale to avoid the worst effects of climate change. 

Additional, targeted actions to tackle methane emissions from fossil fuel production and use are essential to limit the risk of crossing irreversible climate tipping points and can also lead to benefits for public health.