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Immediate Methane Cuts Can Prevent Nearly a Million Premature Deaths, Says IEA

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Immediate Methane Cuts Can Prevent Nearly a Million Premature Deaths, Says IEA

A report released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) highlights the potential benefits of immediate and targeted methane cuts from the fossil fuel industry. According to the report, these cuts could prevent nearly one million premature deaths due to ozone exposure by midcentury. Additionally, the reductions would avert 90 million metric tons of crop losses and approximately 85 billion hours of lost labor caused by heat exposure. The report, prepared by the IEA, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, emphasizes that taking action to avoid these impacts could provide around $260 billion in direct economic benefits.

The Significance of Methane Cuts

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with over 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide during its first 20 years in the atmosphere. Reducing methane emissions from oil, gas, and coal operations is considered one of the most cost-effective ways to combat global heating and has the potential to make a significant impact on slowing climate change. The report's findings come ahead of the COP28 summit in Dubai, which will focus on climate solutions and the role of the energy industry in driving change.

The Challenges Ahead

While more than 20 oil and gas producers have committed to eliminating methane emissions and gas flaring by the end of the decade, it remains uncertain whether these cuts will be sufficient and timely enough to mitigate the impacts described in the IEA report. Methane is responsible for about 30% of the temperature rise since the Industrial Revolution. The report suggests that to achieve the IEA's Net Zero Emissions by 2050 scenario, no new conventional long lead time oil and gas projects should be approved for development after this year, and there should be no new coal mines or coal mine life extensions. In conclusion, the IEA's report underscores the importance of immediate methane cuts to prevent premature deaths, crop losses, and lost labor. Taking action to reduce methane emissions from the fossil fuel industry can have significant economic and environmental benefits, making it a crucial step in addressing climate change.

Implications of Immediate Methane Cuts for New Businesses

The International Energy Agency's (IEA) report on the benefits of immediate and targeted methane cuts offers a crucial perspective for new businesses, particularly those in the fossil fuel industry. The report suggests that these cuts could prevent nearly a million premature deaths, avert significant crop losses, and save billions of hours of labor lost to heat exposure by midcentury.

Role of New Businesses in Methane Reduction

New businesses, especially those in the energy sector, have a unique opportunity to contribute to these methane reductions. By implementing innovative technologies and practices from the outset, they can help lead the way in methane reduction efforts. The potential economic benefits of these actions, estimated at around $260 billion, provide a strong incentive for businesses to prioritize methane cuts.
Future Challenges and Opportunities
While the report highlights the commitment of over 20 oil and gas producers to eliminate methane emissions and gas flaring by the end of the decade, it also underscores the need for more action. New businesses can play a pivotal role in meeting these challenges head-on and contributing to the global fight against climate change. In conclusion, the IEA's report emphasizes the significant role that new businesses can play in reducing methane emissions. By taking immediate action, they can contribute to preventing premature deaths, crop losses, and lost labor, while also reaping substantial economic benefits.
Story First Published at: https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/immediate-methane-cuts-can-prevent-nearly-a-million-premature-deaths-iea-says
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