Japan asked to help cut global methane output

NHK has learned that the United States and the European Union are working to set up an international framework to cut worldwide methane output. The target is to reduce emissions by 30 percent by 2030 from the levels in 2020. The group is asking Japan to join this effort.

Methane is thought to have a warming effect on the environment that is over 20 times greater than carbon dioxide. Livestock around the world release about 2 billion tons of methane a year, accounting for 4 percent of total greenhouse-gas emissions.

Sources tell NHK that an official announcement on the framework is expected in November at the UN climate-change conference in the UK, known as COP26.

About 80 percent of Japan's methane output comes from agriculture, including rice paddies and cows. That makes it difficult to drastically reduce output.

The government plans to consider what action it can take going forward.