China, US to jointly cut methane emissions

China and the United States have agreed to increase their cooperation in cutting methane emissions and other efforts to combat climate change.

The world's two largest greenhouse gas emitters on Wednesday announced a joint declaration in response to the talks at the United Nations' COP26 climate conference. They pledge to enhance their climate action for the 2020s.

Methane leaks are believed to have greenhouse gas effects 20 times more harmful than carbon dioxide emissions.

The declaration affirms the Paris Agreement goal of holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and aiming to limit it to 1.5 degrees.

China and the US also plan to work together in measuring methane emissions as part of their efforts to decrease them.
The two countries plan to hold talks in the first half of next year to discuss concrete joint climate action.

Earlier this month, the United States announced an action plan on reducing methane emissions.

In the joint statement, China also declares it aims to compile bold and comprehensive plans.

Regarding carbon dioxide emissions, the two countries plan to cooperate in establishing effective steps to balance electricity demand and supply, and to improve energy-efficiency.

Major media outlets around the world have covered with surprise the joint declaration made unexpectedly by the two top polluters.