The Australian Government does not intend to embrace the commitment of the European Union and the United States to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030 amid concerns about its impact on agriculture, coal and natural gas, said today a spokesman for the Australian Minister of Energy, Angus Taylor.
The United States and the European Union announced the initiative in September, hoping to ensure swift action before the start of the UN Climate Change Summit, which begins in Glasgow on Sunday.
The Australian decision was first revealed by The Australian newspaper.
On the other hand, New Zealand, which also emits large amounts of gas due to its livestock, may endorse this commitment. It is “actively considering” and “will make a decision soon,” said a spokesman for Climate Change Minister James Shaw.
Methane emissions – from natural gas, from open coal mines, from cattle and sheep … – are considered to be the second most important cause of climate change, behind carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Methane traps more heat than CO2 – but it dissolves faster in the atmosphere.
Conservative Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has decided not to sign a commitment on gas emissions to secure consensus on the goal of climate neutrality by 2050 by the National Coalition’s minority partner, the National Party. based on several provincial Australians, including farmers, ranchers and miners.
The leader of the National Party, Barnaby Joyce, said that the exclusion of the country from the reduction of methane emissions was necessary because it would mean – according to him – a disaster for the livestock, dairy, and coal mining sectors.
“The only way to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030 from 2020 levels is to grab a rifle and start shooting your cows,” Joyce told reporters in Canberra.