Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas (GHG), a greenhouse gas with a warming effect 86 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In its latest April 2022 report, the IPCC indicates that to limit global warming to 1.5°C and meet the Paris Agreement objectives, methane emissions would need to be reduced by around 33% by 2030, and 50% by 2050.
The platform focuses on methane produced from the agricultural and oil and gas sectors.
The agricultural sector is the largest source of anthropogenic methane emissions, in particular the livestock sector accounting for around 32% of all human-made methane emissions. The IPCC's 2019 Special Report on Climate Change and Land-Use emphasizes the importance of reducing GHG emissions from the agricultural sector to mitigate climate change due to the magnitude of global anthropogenic emissions.
The energy sector is responsible for around 40% of total methane emissions attributable to human activity, second to only agriculture. Methane is routinely released in the production, processing, transportation and storage of fossil gas. The International Energy Agency estimate that the oil and gas industry could achieve a 75% reduction in methane emissions by 2030 using existing technologies.
To define policy engagement, InfluenceMap relies on the 2013 Guide for Responsible Corporate Engagement in Climate Policy issued by the secretariat of the UNFCCC and the UNEP under the UN's Caring for Climate collaboration of the UN Global Compact. This document defines a list of corporate activities that constitute corporate climate engagement, covering direct and indirect tactics. These range across social media; public relations; sponsoring research; direct contact with regulators and elected officials; funding of campaigns and political parties; and participation in policy advisory committees.
This analysis and scoring are focused on an organization's publicly available comments, interactions, and influence on policy and legislation. It does not consider internal strategy (including emissions targets), activities, and performance of a company on climate change related issues.
In calculating entities’ Performance Bands, Organization Scores and Engagement Intensities, InfluenceMap looks for evidence of engagement in every region in which said company operates. For example, the evidence InfluenceMap has collected and scored for BP, comes from engagement in several regions including the US, the EU, Australia, Canada, and the UK. As such, the organization scores and engagement intensities calculated for each of the entities covered in this research include global policy engagement.
The Global Methane Platform’s policy tracker tool highlights corporate policy engagement on specific climate policies. For that analysis, InfluenceMap only uses evidence relevant to the policy in question.
In the initial assessment, InfluenceMap has selected methane policies recently proposed in the EU and US. The platform is not intended to provide a conclusive list of existing methane policies but is focused on those developed after the signing of the Global Methane Pledge, starting with the EU and US. InfluenceMap will expand its coverage of global methane policies as new policies are proposed.
InfluenceMap's scoring process is policy neutral. It does not assess the quality of governmental policy but rather the positions of companies and industry groups relative to this policy. This is achieved by using the statements and ambitions of government-mandated bodies tasked to propose or implement climate policy as the benchmarks against which corporate and industry association policy positions are scored. The evidence assessed as part of the Policy Tracker pages dates back to when proposals for legislation were announced by the policymaking institutions in the EU or US.
Scored evidence is coded by InfluenceMap as: ‘strongly supporting’, ‘supporting’, ‘no position/mixed position’, ‘not supporting/supporting with exceptions’, or ‘opposing’ with reference to the benchmarks explained above. These categories correspond to a numerical five-point scale between +2 and -2, where +2 indicates strong support and -2 indicates opposition.