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Study on Methane Emission Hotspots in India

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.

Key Findings

  • 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.
About Methane

·       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

Global Initiatives:

·       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.

India’s Initiatives:

·       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.

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