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Speeches & TranscriptsDecember 2, 2023

Ajay Banga's Remarks at High Level Segment Summit on Methane at COP28 in Dubai, UAE

As Prepared for Delivery

Methane is 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in warming the planet, making it a major driver of climate change.

Yet, it is often subjugated to carbon dioxide, receiving less than 2 percent of global climate financing. We do this at our peril.

The good news is not all solutions require a Herculean effort or a trillion-dollar price tag. Sometimes, the most impactful changes stem from our willingness to embrace the solutions that are well within our grasp.

The frontier of methane reduction is one such area where the World Bank believes there are answers at our fingertips.

That is why the World Bank is taking action, scaling proven – and urgently needed – strategies that can decisively bend the methane emission curve.

Over the next 18 months, as part of a blueprint for methane reduction, we will help launch 15 national programs that aim to slash methane emissions. These programs build upon successful pilots that delivered transformative results for rice production, livestock operations, and waste management.

In Vietnam, rice farmers are embracing new techniques that slash methane emissions, while increasing incomes.

Improved animal nutrition and breed management in India cut methane emissions and dramatically increased milk production.

And simply separating organic waste in landfills in Brazil cut nearly all the methane emissions by diverting it to provide electricity to 200,000 households.

By deploying proven reduction methods from our blueprint, methane emissions from rice production can be reduced by up to 40 percent, from livestock by 30 percent, and waste by 80 percent. The potential is huge.

Taken together, this methane reduction blueprint could slash up to 10 million tons of methane.

And while these efforts will make consider progress toward our methane goal, it won’t be enough if we don’t embrace simple and effective solutions for the emissions from the power sector. That is why the World Bank has been working with Germany, Norway, the United States, and the UAE alongside the private sector to expand our long-standing efforts to significantly cut methane emissions across the whole energy value chain.

In our fight against climate change, too often genuine impact is impeded by intractable challenges – considerable expenses, political challenges, and underdeveloped technologies. Methane is one rare, clear area where we know there are low-cost remedies, effective and simple solutions that can be replicated and scaled.

But hope is not a strategy. We must act.

And in doing so we can reduce emissions, enhance agricultural yields, and improve health outcomes all in one go. This is one shot that we should not miss.


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