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Russia Not Among COP26 Methane Pledge Signatories

Russia's Amur Gas Processing Plant. Gazprom

Russia is not one of over 90 countries that promised at the COP26 summit Tuesday to slash their methane emissions, The New York Times reported.

Experts say cutting methane, which can heat the atmosphere up to 80 times as fast as carbon dioxide, is the single most effective way of reducing short-term greenhouse gas emissions and keeping warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The United States and the European Union launched the Global Methane Pledge in hopes of securing commitments from countries to cut their methane emissions 30% by 2030. 

Speaking at COP26 in Glasgow, U.S. President Joe Biden called the pledge a “game-changing commitment.”

Russia, the world’s fourth-largest greenhouse gas emitter, joins China and India in the group of major polluters that have not signed on to the pledge.

Earlier at COP26, Russia joined over 100 countries in pledging to end deforestation by 2030.

Russia’s economy is heavily dependent on oil and gas production, the source of most of the world’s methane pollution.

In recent months, satellite imagery has detected methane plumes from Russian gas pipelines that were several times larger than officially reported.

Earlier this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin called for global cuts to methane emissions but made no specific policy promises.

The Russian president has also pledged that his country will reach carbon neutrality by 2060, a goal that relies heavily on large increases of greenhouse gas absorption by its vast forests.

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