Curbing Methane Emissions: How Five Industries Can Counter a Major Climate Threat
Methane accounts for about one-third of global warming. New McKinsey research shows how five industries can cut emissions with proven technologies and at a reasonable cost.
The bad news is that methane emissions have risen by about 25 percent in the past 20 years. The current trajectory is far off the 2 percent annual decline that would be required to meet the 1.5°C or 2°C warming objectives of the Paris Agreement. However, there are reasons for cautious optimism. New McKinsey research shows that five industries could reduce global annual methane emissions by 20 percent by 2030 and 46 percent by 2050—enough for a significant shift toward a 1.5°C warming pathway. What’s more, these reductions could be achieved largely with established technologies and at a reasonable cost.
The five industries, which together account for 98 percent of humanity’s methane emissions, are agriculture, oil and gas, coal mining, solid-waste management, and wastewater management.