Why didn't India and Australia sign the Methane Pact

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

Recently, a significant global development took place in Glasgow by the initiative of the US and EU. The development is the COP26 summit, in which the global methane pact pledge was signed. Back in Sep, only nine countries signed the pact, which now has more than 100 countries who have joined. The biggest emitters like Russia, China, India, Australia, and Iran are still not part of the pact.

According to the pledge, the countries will collectively reduce the methane emission by 30% by 2030, so the global temperature could be limited to 1.5 C pre-industrial level. By joining the Pact, countries pledge to reduce the means whereby the methane gas produces and deteriorates the atmosphere, and the global mission of net-zero could be achieved.

The greenhouse gases which trap infrared radiation -- out of all greenhouse gases-- methane gas is the most detrimental to the environment. Methane in the atmosphere is short-lived but 80 times more harmful than carbon in the atmosphere. It means that reducing the level of methane gas is the utmost priority for saving the world from global warming risks. The source of methane gas is oil and gas, agriculture, solid waste landfill, and livestock. It directly reacts with hydroxyl (OH) in the troposphere where we all exist and depend.

Australian PM Scott Morison clearly refused to sign the global pledge of emission reduction. As he said that, they are ready to reduce and mitigate the methane gas from going into the atmosphere, but do not want to assert any specific time limit.

Australia is an agricultural economy, where its major exports are crops and livestock. As the methane is mostly produced in the digestive system of cows and lamb, and already, due to covid-19, the countries had to face stagnancy, the sudden measure would directly affect its economic growth.

As Indian livestock population is more than 500 million dominated the countries like brazil and china. However, studies suggested that the report of IPCC overestimated the Indian excursion of methane. According to the study, the actual amount of methane release is less than 20 kg per animal per year, as compared with the exaggerated figure of 46 kg per animal per year. However, another study agrees that livestock is the big source of methane emission which contributes to global warming.

Despite the Livestock, Indian’s massive population and their energy requirement is also the main issue that is compelling the country to refrain from signing the pact. Almost 70 percent of India’s electricity is produced through oil and gas. However, the Indian PM, recently, set a new goal that by 2070 Indian will reach the net-zero

which means no carbon emission.

To sum up, both countries are the biggest methane emitter, but their economy depends on the means whereby the gases is produced. Thus, they still didn’t sign the pledge by considering their dependency.