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Global Methane Initiative (GMI)

  Jun 28, 2023

Global Methane Initiative (GMI)

Q What are details about Methane ?

  • Methane is a greenhouse gas, which is also a component of natural gas.
  • There are various sources of methane including human and natural sources.
  • The anthropogenic sources are responsible for 60 per cent of global methane emissions.
  • It includes landfills, oil and natural gas systems, agricultural activities, coal mining, wastewater treatment, and certain industrial processes.
  • The oil and gas sectors are among the largest contributors to human sources of methane.
  • These emissions come primarily from the burning of fossil fuels, decomposition in landfills and the agriculture sector.


Q What is Global Methane Initiative (GMI) ?

  • GMI is a voluntary Government and an informal international partnership having members from 45 countries including the United States and Canada.
  • The forum has been created to achieve global reduction in anthropogenic methane emission through partnership among developed and developing countries having economies in transition.
  • The forum was created in 2004 and India is one of the members since its inception and has taken up Vice-Chairmanship for the first time in the Steering Leadership along with USA.
  • National governments are encouraged to join GMI as Partner Countries, while other non-State organizations may join GMI’s extensive Project Network.


Q What are Focus areas of Global Methane Initiative ?

The initiative currently focuses on five sectors, which are known sources of anthropogenic methane emissions:

  1. Agriculture
  2. Coal mining
  3. Municipal solid waste
  4. Municipal wastewater
  5. Oil and gas systems


Q Why is there so much focus on Methane?

  • The emission of methane is a big concern as it is a greenhouse gas having 25-28 times harmful effect than carbon dioxide
  • According to the UN, 25 % of the warming that the world is experiencing today is because of methane.
  • Methane is the second-most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, after carbon dioxide.
  • According to IPCC, methane accounts for about half of the 1.0 degrees Celsius net rise in global average temperature since the pre-industrial era.


Q What is CO2 Equivalents ?

CO2 Equivalents

  • Each greenhouse gas (GHG) has a different global warming potential (GWP) and persists for a different length of time in the atmosphere.
  • The three main greenhouse gases (along with water vapour) and their 100-year global warming potential (GWP) compared to carbon dioxide are:
    • 1 x – carbon dioxide (CO2)
    • 25 x – methane (CH4) – I.e. Releasing 1 kg of CH4into the atmosphere is about equivalent to releasing 25 kg of CO2
    • 298 x – nitrous oxide (N2O)
  • Water vapour is not considered to be a cause of man-made global warming because it does not persist in the atmosphere for more than a few days.
  • There are other greenhouse gases which have far greater global warming potential (GWP) but are much less prevalent. These are sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and perfluorocarbons (PFCs).
  • There are a wide variety of uses for SF6, HFCs, and PFCs but they have been most commonly used as refrigerants and for fire suppression.
  • Many of these compounds also have a depleting effect on ozone in the upper atmosphere.