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Methane is the trending topic at COP-26. See why!


Treaties aimed at controlling global warming, such as the Paris Agreement (2015), continue to be valid and reinforced, with targets for the reduction of CO2 and other environmental agendas. However, as the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-26) gets underway, the role of another gas gains prominence: methane (CH₄).


Currently, methane accounts for 17% of global emissions. In Brazil, more than half of the emissions of this gas (72%) derive from the agricultural and cattle-farming sector, followed by the waste sector (16%), land use change (9%) and energy (3%). In addition, enteric fermentation from animal farming (digestion by ruminant animals) is responsible for 92% of methane emissions.


Since it has a short life span, decreasing CH₄ rates would lead to improvements in the quality of public health and agricultural production. "As such, it is estimated that this drop in emissions could prevent up to 0.2° of warming by 2050," said Renata Potenza from Imaflora.

Developed countries have paved the way in setting the following target: reducing global methane (CH₄) emissions by 30% below 2020 levels by 2030. Brazil was one of the nations that committed to the goal, but China, Russia, India, Australia, Paraguay, Venezuela and Bolivia have not signed the agreement yet.


"Brazil's challenge will be in agriculture and cattle-ranching, which is the sector that has the highest methane emission rate in the country," Potenza stated. One of the strategies for this goal is the implementation of domestic actions, such as the reduction of agricultural emissions through technological innovation, as well as incentives and partnerships with farmers. In the document, the following solutions were put forward: ILPF, Intensive Termination (IT), genetic and nutritional improvement.


A few of the considerations pointed out by Brazil at COP-26 was the importance of the country gaining access to financial resources to reduce methane (CH₄) emissions, as well as the removal of "boycotts" and tariff barriers by importer countries.