28 September 2022

Why mitigating methane emissions is urgent now?

As methane emissions continue to increase, there are more reasons than ever to reduce methane emissions. Reducing human caused methane emissions is one of the fastest, most effective strategies to reduce the rate of warming and contribute to global efforts to limit temperature rise to 1.5C

A recent assessment from United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition found that cutting methane emissions would be a quick win to fight against climate change.

Methane is one of several greenhouse gases, which trap the sun’s heat in the atmosphere and thus cause the global average temperature to rise. Accounting for about 20% of global emissions, methane is the second most prevalent greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide, which makes up more than 70%.

Methane is many times more powerful than carbon dioxide at trapping heat. However, it breaks down much more quickly: methane is mostly removed from the atmosphere after a decade, while carbon dioxide can contribute to global warming for hundreds of years.

What are the sources of Methane emissions?

Agriculture is the main sources of methane emissions. Mainly, the livestock through enteric fermentation and manure management are the predominant source of emissions. Population growth have stimulated those emissions because of economic development and urban migration have stimulated unprecedented demand for animal protein.

The landfill also produce methane emissions when the municipal solid waste is deposited into landfill. It undergoes an aerobic (with oxygen) decomposition stage when methane is generated. Within less than one year, anaerobic conditions are established and methane producing bacteria being to decompose the waste and generate methane.

In addition, the paddy rice cultivation in which flooded fields prevent oxygen from penetrating the soil, creating ideal conditions for methane emitting bacteria accounts for another 8 % of human-linked emissions.

What are the contribution can we accomplish, if we reduce methane emissions?

It is highly important to note that, cutting methane emissions have many immediate co-benefits. In fact, reducing the methane emissions is quickly doable than implementing carbon dioxides reduction technologies such as carbon capture and storage.

The methane emissions are quickly broken from atmosphere; this means that if we put more efforts in cutting methane emissions, we can reach Paris agreement as soon as we aim, than carbon dioxide, which took a century to be broken from atmosphere.

Cutting methane emissions bring various co-benefits such as increase of food supplies, energy security, and health benefits, because the technologies to reduce those emissions bring those advantages. The actions to mitigate methane emissions include the providing animal with more nutritious feed so that they are larger, healthier and more productive, effectively producing more with less. Also famers can reduce methane by managing manure more efficiently by covering it, composting it, or using it to produce biogas.

When it comes on rice paddle, it was recommended to use alternate wetting and drying approaches that can halve emissions. Rather than allowing the continuous flooding of fields, paddies could be irrigated and drained two to three times throughout the growing season, limiting methane production without impacting yield. This process would also require on-third less water, making it more economical.

Other actions regard the emission reduction from landfills, by constructing managed landfills and produce the energy from landfill gas utilization.

Methane emissions in Rwanda

The methane emission have the high share of 65.3 % and its main predominant source is agriculture especially from the livestock emission such as the enteric fermentation and manure management. This is linked with the population growth, economic development and urban migration, which have increased the animal protein demand.

Whatsapp

Topics


More posts

04 November 2021

Rwanda Pledges emissions cut of 38% in its climate action plan by 2030

Rwanda as a signatory to the Paris Agreement under which countries are due to update or communicate their 2030 emission-reduction plans, it submitted…

Read more →
04 November 2021

The Geneva Environment Dialogues discussed the impacts of the COVID-19 on the global climate change agenda

The dialogues took place on Tuesday 19 May, 2020 from 9: 00 to 9:50 on Facebook live, as way of communicating in this time of COVID-19.

this session…

Read more →
04 November 2021

Assessment of Rwanda’s vulnerability to climate change was presented to local authorities

Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), with the logistical support of Ministry of Local Government (MINALOC), hold a video conference with…

Read more →
04 November 2021

Coronavirus responses proves the World can act on Climate Change

The COVID-19 pandemic has provoked a global response unlike anything we have seen before. Governments have witnessed transformational changes that…

Read more →
04 November 2021

COP 26 postponed due to the disruption caused by COVID-19

This crucial climate summit is the 26th session of conference of Parties (COP26) to the UNFCCC and it was scheduled from 9-19 November 2020 in…

Read more →
04 November 2021

Be self-accountable to tackle Climate Change and save environment

Climate change has already begun to impact our planet in more ways than we can think. Temperatures continue to rise throughout the planet and we are…

Read more →
04 November 2021

Switching to electric vehicles is a mean to reduce greenhouse gases emissions and improve air quality in the City of Kigali

Over the last 150 years, human activities have greatly contributed to the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which make the planet…

Read more →
04 November 2021

Green Growth as an Opportunity for Business

Twenty-eight years after the Rio Summit, the countries embrace the vision for development by expanding the economy and addressing the environment…

Read more →