Back to OurEnergyLibrary search

Curbing Methane Emissions: How Five Industries Can Counter a Major Climate Threat

Curbing Methane Emissions: How Five Industries Can Counter a Major Climate Threat

Full Title: Curbing Methane Emissions: How Five Industries Can Counter a Major Climate Threat
Author(s): Sam DeFabrizio, Will Glazener, Catherine Hart, Kimberly Henderson, Jayanti Kar, Josh Katz, Madelina Pozas Pratt, Matt Rogers, Alex Ulanov, Christer Tryggestad
Publisher(s): McKinsey & Company
Publication Date: September 23, 2021
Full Text: Download Resource
Description (excerpt):

Attaining a 1.5°C pathway would require cutting anthropogenic emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas—and companies around the world can play a decisive role in this agenda. Methane emissions from human activities, which represent the second-largest contributor to global warming after carbon dioxide, have reached approximately 380 million metric tons per year. They have risen by around 25 percent in the past 20 years, in sharp contrast to the 2 percent annual decline required to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change. According to our analysis, five industries could take actions that would have a significant impact on methane emissions, reducing annual methane emissions by 20 percent by 2030 and by 46 percent by 2050. This impact could be achieved largely with established technologies and at a reasonable cost: 90 percent of these reductions could come at a cost of less than $25 per metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO₂e).

This report maps sources of methane emissions, analyzes future scenarios, and details potential abatement measures in five industries that now account for 98 percent of human emissions: agriculture, oil and gas, coal mining, solid waste management, and wastewater management. The report provides a perspective on the mitigation potential, cost, and impacts of current methane abatement technologies. It also highlights where innovation may create opportunities in the future. Decision makers in these five key industries can use these insights to build and carry out their companies’ approaches to methane abatement, as some leading organizations have already begun to do.

All statements and/or propositions in discussion prompts are meant exclusively to stimulate discussion and do not represent the views of, its Partners, Topic Directors or Experts, nor of any individual or organization. Comments by and opinions of Expert participants are their own.

Sign up for our Press Release Distribution List

    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Please sign me up to receive press releases from