Australian Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen speaks at the Sydney Energy Forum on July 12, 2022, in Sydney. (BROOK MITCHELL / POOL / AFP)
CANBERRA – The Australian government has decided to sign the Global Methane Pledge to reduce global methane emissions by at least 30 percent below 2020 levels by 2030.
Chris Bowen, the minister for Climate Change and Energy, recently announced that signatories to the non-binding pledge commit to taking a range of domestic actions such as standards for reducing emissions in the energy and waste sectors, and seeking abatement opportunities in the agricultural sector through technology and partnerships with farmers.
Now, methane is 24 percent of Australia's emissions, and we are the world's 11th biggest emitter of methane. So it's very important that we have a seat at the table, and we are part of the solution. It requires us to work to reduce our emissions as much as possible and to contribute to a 30 percent global reduction and to improve our measurement.
Chris Bowen, Australian minister for Climate Change and Energy
"Now, methane is 24 percent of Australia's emissions, and we are the world's 11th biggest emitter of methane. So it's very important that we have a seat at the table, and we are part of the solution," he said in a press conference on Sunday.
Bowen said that as this is a global pledge, it does not require Australia to reduce its own emissions by 30 percent.
"It requires us to work to reduce our emissions as much as possible and to contribute to a 30 percent global reduction and to improve our measurement," he said.
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The agriculture sector accounts for about half of Australia's methane emissions, with resources and waste responsible for a further 39 percent.
According to Bowen, the government has committed funding for the seaweed industry to support the commercialization of the low-emissions livestock feed supplement asparagopsis.
It will also support the development of technologies to deliver low-emission feed supplements to grazing animals and determine their technical viability and commercial potential.
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Bowen said the pledge does not require Australia to focus solely on agriculture, or reduce agricultural production or livestock numbers.
The minister also said the government will not legislate or introduce taxes or levies to reduce livestock emissions.