UN flags 127 major climate-warming methane plumes this year
A United Nations-led effort to use space satellites to detect methane leaks from fossil fuel infrastructure has alerted governments to 127 major methane plumes across four continents since its launch at the start of this year.
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, with 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. Such emissions from the burning of fossil fuels so far have driven about a third of global warming.
The U.N. Environment Programme's (UNEP) Methane Alert and Response System (MARS) was created to support a 2021 global pledge by more than 150 countries to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030.
In a report published on Friday, UNEP said the system was fully operational and providing satellite data to companies and governments on leaky fossil fuel infrastructure found to be emitting several metric tons of methane per hour.