The Methane emissions in the EU: the key to immediate action on climate change briefing provides an overview of the key sources of methane (CH4) in the EU and the trends in and drivers of emissions since 1990. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that traps heat more effectively than carbon dioxide and its concentration is increasing rapidly in the atmosphere. Policies that reduce methane emissions can have an immediate and positive effect on climate mitigation, as well as on improving air quality and people’s health. In the last 30 years, methane emissions from the energy, agriculture and waste sectors have decreased by 36% in the EU, but more needs to be done to meet 2030 and 2050 climate objectives. 

There are a number of policy options and technologies available to reduce methane emissions and improve energy security. International frameworks and initiatives are also important for reducing methane emissions and mitigating climate change globally, as the EU only accounts for 7% of global greenhouse gas emissions and 4-5% of global methane emissions. 

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