EU politicians want less methane emissions to slow global warming

The European Union must go for a global methane agreement during the upcoming climate summit in Glasgow. That is what the European Parliament says. By combating methane emissions inside and outside EU, the Paris climate targets can be achieved.

As a greenhouse gas, methane is about 25 times as strong as carbon dioxide and causes global warming. Ten percent of EU emissions are methane. Stricter controls on the import of oil and gas must also be introduced in the EU.

A major climate conference will start on October 31 in Glasgow, Scotland. Then countries and organizations come together to discuss new solutions to combat global warming. The EU is also present there. The European Parliament has adopted a resolution for the strategy and deployment of the EU.

Reducing methane emissions is at the heart of the EU strategy. According to Parliament, this costs the least and results in the highest reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. If it is up to the MEPs, then a worldwide methane agreement must be concluded in Glasgow.

By focusing on phasing out methane gases in the EU, we can achieve the climate goals of the Paris Agreement more easily and cheaper, according to Parliament. Agriculture has the largest share in this, because livestock – especially cows – emit a lot of methane gas.

The MEPs therefore want new measures in EU member states that reduce these emissions. At the same time, food production must be prevented from being moved outside the EU in order to avoid these new rules.

Fossil fuels must be phased out as soon as possible, the European Parliament believes. Since more than eighty percent of the oil and gas consumption in the EU comes from imported raw materials, strict controls have to be put in place. Fossil fuels such as oil and gas may only be imported in the future if they comply with the EU regulations.

Greek MEP Maria Spyraki wrote the report preceding the resolution. She says: 'We need to act immediately and deliver concrete results in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, to protect people and the planet today and in the future. By setting binding targets for methane reduction, the EU can play a key role in getting the rest of the world to do the same.”