Methane deal made but tensions surround COP28

| 04/12/2023 | 38 Comments
Cow belching contributes significantly to methane emissions

(CNS): Major fossil fuel countries and companies reached a deal on Monday at the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai to significantly reduce methane leaks. The deal is significant and if implemented could prevent up 0.5°C of future climate heating. But despite this agreement, the phasing out of fossil fuel remains the main source of tension, especially since Sultan Al Jaber, the president of COP28, rejected the idea that ending fossil fuel use is necessary to restrict global heating to 1.5°C.

Meanwhile, the Caribbean’s most important climate advocate, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, has urged countries to go beyond voluntary pledges and called for taxes as a way to boost climate funding. A global 0.1% tax on financial services, for example, could raise $420 billion, while a 5% tax on global oil and gas profits in 2022 would have yielded around $200 billion, she said.

In an address on Saturday, Mottley also urged governments to address the methane issue, as she pointed out that for many people climate change is “a death sentence” and the responsibility should lie with oil and gas companies to be more active in cutting emissions. 

“While we are seeing countries move towards greater regulation, we need to be able to have concrete action with respect to the controlling of methane, largely because its damage in the near term is far greater than even CO2,” she said. “We need strong regulation and compliance to ensure that we can minimise the extent to which that continues to lead and hurt the world in the hotter temperatures.”

But Al Jaber, who heads the state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), stirred up controversy with his near climate change denial in an exchange with a former UN special envoy ahead of the conference. “There is no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says that the phase-out of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5°C,” the Guardian reported him as saying.

The comment is at odds with the UN Secretary-General António Guterres address at the conference. “The science is clear. The 1.5ºC limit is only possible if we ultimately stop burning all fossil fuels. Not reduce, not abate. Phase out, with a clear time frame,” he told delegates.

Ironically, the UAE is choking under “alarmingly high” air pollution levels fed by its fossil fuel industry, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has also warned. A 24-page report, You Can Smell Petrol in the Air: UAE Fossil Fuels Feed Toxic Pollution, documents alarmingly high air pollution levels that are creating major health risks for UAE citizens and residents and contributing to the global climate crisis.

The methane deal has seen around 50 oil and gas companies pledge to shore up leaky methane systems by 2030 to “near zero”. ExxonMobil and Saudi Arabia’s Aramco are among the largest oil and gas producers in the world who have made the pledge.

However, oil, coal and gas deals were conducted on the sidelines of the conference and leading countries have been backsliding on previous pledges to cut emissions. In addition, several heads of state were missing and the Israel-Gaza war overshadowed the entire event, leading many to question how much this latest conference will ultimately achieve.

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Category: Climate Change, Science & Nature

Comments (38)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Wonder how much methane that dump releases.

  2. Anonymous says:

    extremely small pieces of plastic debris in the environment resulting from the disposal and breakdown of consumer products and industrial waste.

    Researchers at the Ocean University of China found that microplastics reduced the growth of microalgae and the efficiency of photosynthesis. So producing more microplastics could degrade plankton’s ability to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.,carbon%20dioxide%20from%20the%20atmosphere.

    Microplastics Are Filling the Skies. Will They Affect the Climate?
    “Recent studies reveal that tiny pieces of plastic are constantly lofted into the atmosphere. These particles can travel thousands of miles and affect the formation of clouds, which means they have the potential to impact temperature, rainfall, and even climate change.”

    Contribution of plastic and microplastic to global climate change and their conjoining impacts on the environment – A review
    “Plastics are fossil fuel-derived products. The emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) during different processes involved in the lifecycle of plastic-related products are a significant threat to the environment as it contributes to global temperature rise. By 2050, a high volume of plastic production will be responsible for up to 13 % of our planet’s total carbon budget.“

  3. Anonymous says:

    With rare exceptions, all mankind is still monkeys, especially its scientific part. And if you give gunpowder and a burning match in the paws of the monkeys, they will blow themselves up to see what happens. Monkeys are safe only when they are deprived of any opportunity to put themselves in danger.

  4. Anonymous says:

    If Cayman wanted to reduce its carbon imprint, they would get Public Bus Transportation System up and running already. They would create safe conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you really want to cut the methane, try putting a muzzle on all the politicians and there constant spewing of utter cow manure. Cutting off Bush, Seymour & Suanders alone could cut global warming by a lot.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes. Safe, comfortable and RELIABLE public transportation. Transportation that arrived on schedule regardless of how many people were aboard. Create Park and Ride Centres and include funding for cameras and for security patrolling.

      I wonder if it is too late for much of congested Grand Cayman to have real bike lanes that are safe and protected from traffic. I think it is still quite possible for most of the Sister Islands. Let’s get it done. Why not? Well, that wouldn’t immediately translate into measurable financial benefit.

      I will tell you this: There would be a LOT more people on bicycles and walking on the Brac if they didn’t have the sense of taking their lives into their own hands to do so.

  5. Anonymous says:

    How many of the CI government vehicles (and there are a lot of them ) are electric?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Total joke scam and money grab. If Barbados wants reduced gas emissions then block the 24% occupancy Cayman to Barbados flights, have zoom meetings only and ALL climate politicians can do zero travel and have Zoom meetings instead and finally ban climate politicians from driving cars and they can commute by bicycle. Flower power politicians can save the planet that way.

  7. Anonymous says:

    8 billion humans persist in factory farming, feeding, and watering 50 billion livestock, even while knowing we probably shouldn’t be eating them for a variety of reasons. At least 30 billion of those animals weigh over 800 lbs and eliminate 50-60 lbs of physical waste a day. Cute cartoons and jokes aside, the resulting CH4 is 16x more thermal sinking than C02 and would drive GHG warming to beyond +3’C by 2100, even if we were already finished the energy transition and buzzing around on hoverboards. By 2050 the fisheries will be in critical decline, and atmospheric pollution ppm will be doubled, making it harder to breathe, and killing plants and crops that can’t adapt by thickening leaves. Those plants then won’t be releasing the net oxygen during photosynthesis like today, compounding our problems. A billion climate migrants are also expected to be moving by then. That future will be quite a lot more expensive than having not done the reading, homework and affecting coherent policy decades earlier. Sometime after 2100 the human population will contract to 800 million, and that decline is expected within a single 20 year generational period. Major population, transport, feed crop, and energy watersheds, their aquifers, and reservoirs are already chalking record lows. Hydro reservoirs down to intake levels, or turned off. These are headlines now, not in 2050 or 2100. It’s because we are addicted to meat and dairy. We would need 5x Earth-sized planets to sustain current levels of consumption, and that’s largely because of the unmanageable livestock situation.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Man people really this stupid?

  9. Anonymous says:

    everyday we a march one step closer to global totalitarianism.

  10. Anonymous says:

    “The science”. Weasel words designed to shut down debate.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, trust in science and scientists has dropped significantly since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

      There is “Bad Surgeon” documentary on Netflix. Everything else aside, it demonstrates how “science” really works these days – zero oversight. I’d never believe that the best surgeons and staff in the best clinic in the world didn’t know what they were doing when assisting a sociopath performing his “revolutionary” organ replacement surgeries.

      • Anonymous says:

        Where has CNS fact checkers disappeared to? What a scam.

        CNS: Someone watched a documentary about a medical fraudster and on the basis of that wants to dismiss every discipline of science. There’s no fact checking that. It’s stupid beyond words.

        • Anonymous says:

          Is it you Nina Jankowicz?

          Scam: a dishonest scheme; a fraud.

          What CNS was supposed to check? The facts in the Netflix documentary?

          Paolo Macchiarini is currently serving a 2 1/2-year prison sentence in a Swedish prison.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Doesn’t it come out the other end?

    CNS: No, the methane comes out of the front end as cow burps.

  12. Anonymous says:

    WOW now they want to take away my steak…smh

  13. Anonymous says:

    free solution:
    stop meat production.
    bad for people, bad for animals and a disaster for the planet.

    • Anonymous says:

      Meat production methods need looking at, the number of cows is not the problem. Cows that roam pasture actually help to put carbon back into the ground. Whereas, cows in feed lots are what contribute to greenhouse gasses…

      In the meantime I will do my part to try and eat as many cows as possible.

    • Anonymous says:

      And you don’t release methane when you eat a plant based diet !!!

    • Anonymous says:

      lots of thumbs down…but not one valid response….shocking stuff on cns.

    • Anonymous says:

      No the simple answer is to lessen or stop eating it if you’re so upset about it. For people that thing beef is the end of the world you better not be eating one single piece. Then the ranchers will raise less cows and we’ll see if the gasses etc reduce.

      Nothing is funnier to me than climate activists who say no more beef, then eat steak. They say don’t bulldoze the mangroves or build too close to the ocean…then they clear a mangrove and build their custom house right on the ocean and hop a private jet to Dubai.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Seems like just a bunch of people that can’t agree on anything to me. Fossil fuels will be with us for a long time to come.

    • Beaumont Zodecloun says:

      When there are products and compounds which viably and economically replace oil and gas, then the people — everywhere — won’t have to be leveraged or forced or intimidated into using them. We will all flock to them.

      Solar, wind power, EVs, are all on the right path. You cannot legislate innovation. If you force people to give up their propane appliances, you will kill the economy and those businesses. If you force businesses to use EVs instead of diesel, you will kill those businesses and destroy the supplies which feed the people. My neighbor drives a diesel truck. He is barely making it for his family. Long hours, hard work. You force him to use an EV rig instead and they are all instantly part of NAU, through no fault of their own.

      I believe renewable energies are the future, however we have to transition into them, as innovation is created and becomes more effective. “you cannot make an omlette without breaking a few eggs,” you say. You cannot make an omlette out of wishes and you cannot feed your family with dream, I say.

      I am a conservationist. I believe in preserving lands, cleaning up pollution, recycling, cleaning our precious groundwater, mitigating the horribly toxic spills/storage/landfills which exist on all three islands.

      Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley has urged countries to tax to “boost climate funding”. To pay for what? More studies with errant data points? To buy ’emerging nations’? If you punish the struggling people, you will create revolution, not cooperation. Get off your high horses and create strategies for meaningful change and conservation which allow the people to live.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Thank you CNS for keeping folks informed on a topic most would otherwise have ignored.


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