A potent and abundant greenhouse gas, methane is the second-largest contributor to climate change after carbon dioxide. Methane emissions due to human activities have increased by nearly 150 percent since pre-industrial times and are projected to increase another 20 percent by 2030. A comprehensive solution to climate change requires global action because every country produces methane emissions. To help address this enormous challenge, the U.S. government sought to establish a way for governments, business, and academia to collaborate in reducing global methane emissions.
To tackle this global challenge, ERG helped the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launch the Global Methane Initiative in 2004 to focus on reducing manmade methane emissions. Since GMI’s introduction, ERG’s team of communications specialists, climate change specialists, and methane experts (for the agriculture, coal mine, municipal solid waste, oil and natural gas, and wastewater sectors) have been conducting project feasibility and technology assessments and demonstrations; inventorying methane emissions and reductions; creating tools, outreach materials, and websites; and coordinating capacity building and hundreds of training seminars and meetings on six continents. ERG’s efforts have advanced the importance and benefits of methane recovery and use projects and created solutions to overcome barriers to methane capture.