Why is it in the news?
- A groundbreaking study utilized satellite data, including NASA’s Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation (EMIT) and the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-5P TROPOMI, to identify methane emission hotspots across India.
- The study revealed an increase in methane emissions over various urban centres in India, indicating the presence of methane point sources.
- Methane emissions were found to contribute significantly to India’s carbon emissions, accounting for approximately 43% of the total emissions in the country.
- Among the identified hotspots, notable locations include a sewage outlet in Central Mumbai, Ahmedabad’s Pirana landfill, and Surat’s Khajod landfill, highlighting areas with high methane concentrations.
· Methane (CH4) is a potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential 28 times higher than carbon dioxide (CO2) over a 100-year period.
· It ranks as the second largest contributor to climate change after CO2 and is categorized as a Short-Lived Climate Pollutant (SLCP), exerting an immediate and intense warming effect on the atmosphere.
Sources of Methane:
· Approximately 20% of India’s anthropogenic methane emissions originate from solid waste and landfills, highlighting the significance of waste management in methane mitigation efforts.
· Leakage from natural gas, oil and gas fields, and oil refineries contributes to methane emissions, emphasizing the importance of controlling fossil fuel extraction and processing activities.
· Methane emissions from agriculture stem from enteric fermentation in livestock rearing and rice cultivation, indicating the need for sustainable agricultural practices.
· Other sources include wetlands and industrial activities such as textile production.
Initiatives to Reduce Methane Emissions
· UNEP Global Methane Initiative: Aims to advance cost-effective methane abatement strategies through international cooperation and knowledge sharing.
· Global Methane Pledge: Seeks to reduce methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030 from 2020 levels. However, India has not signed this pledge.
· Gobar Dhan Scheme: Promotes the conversion of organic waste into resources, reducing methane emissions from waste decomposition.
· National Biogas and Manure Management Program: Facilitates the capture and utilization of methane emissions from organic waste sources, promoting sustainable waste management practices across the country.