RESOLVE is pleased to announce the release of the report "Methane and Health Dialogue Series" by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) during New York Climate Week. The report, prepared by RESOLVE, summarizes key findings and recommendations from the recent Methane and Health Dialogue Series, convened by EDF and facilitated by RESOLVE. The virtual dialogue series brought together experts on agriculture, oil and gas, public health, and waste management from around the world to identify near-term opportunities to reduce methane emissions and improve human health.

Methane is a highly potent greenhouse gas, with 80 times the global warming potential of CO₂ over a 20-year period. However, it is also short-lived in earth's atmosphere, degrading in a matter of decades rather than centuries. This means that rapidly reducing methane emissions is one of the most promising ways to rapidly mitigate climate change.

The vast majority of methane emissions come from three sectors: agriculture, oil and gas, and waste. Today, emissions from all three sectors are rising, and their rise is projected to continue under business-as-usual scenarios – but in all three sectors, mitigation strategies exist that, if implemented today, could rapidly reduce planetary methane to levels that would slow global warming and help keep a 1.5° C goal in sight.

While awareness of methane's climate mitigation potential is growing, the public health benefits of cutting methane are less well understood. For example, methane is often emitted by the oil and gas industry as part of normal operations. Some oil producers use flares to burn methane gas, a process which also releases co-pollutants such as Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and fine particle pollution (PM2.5) that are linked to asthma, cardiovascular disease, and premature death. Taking action to address flaring can reduce methane emissions, as well as the associated negative health impacts in nearby communities.

Over three sessions, RESOLVE facilitated interdisciplinary discussions among experts to identify the most promising opportunities for near-term action within the agriculture, oil and gas, and waste sectors to reduce methane emissions and improve local health outcomes. During the series, participants identified research gaps and needs, regional differences affecting methane mitigation actions, and opportunities to leverage the road to COP 28 to raise the profile of this issue and spur momentum for rapid action.

EDF kicked off these efforts at an exciting event co-hosted by The Global Climate & Health Alliance at New York Climate Week, "Methane Matters: Exploring the Health Impacts of Methane Mitigation," which explored opportunities to reduce methane emissions and improve health, building on the results of the Dialogue Series. RESOLVE was excited to partner with EDF in this important effort and looks forward to supporting future initiatives that broaden our understanding of climate change, human health, and the strategies that can create a healthier future for our communities and the planet.

Access the report here:

Maggie Gallagher