Methane Alert and Response System

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Recently, the Methane Alert and Response System (MARS) notified governments of 127 plumes spanning four continents and identified 1,500 plumes in its pilot stage.

About Methane Alert and Response System

  • It is a data-to-action initiative with the mission to put open, reliable, and actionable data into the hands of individuals who can reduce methane emissions.
  • It was announced at the Conference of Parties (COP 27) in November 2022 and began its initial pilot phase in January 2023.
  • The pilot phase presented an opportunity for UNEP’s International Methane Emissions Observatory (IMEO) to engage with partners, countries, and operators to refine MARS processes and procedures before making data public.
  • It uses satellites to scan the globe for major emission sources and alerts countries and companies so that they can take methane action and accelerate progress supporting the Paris Agreement and Global Methane Pledge.
  • This initiative works in partnership with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) and the International Energy Agency (IEA). 
  • MARS brings together four critical components to drive transparency and enable emission reductions:
    • Detection of large sources of human-caused methane emissions.
    • Notification of relevant countries and companies about these detected emissions.
    • Response from notified stakeholders to address the emissions.
    • Tracking progress of actions taken to reduce emissions and collaboration to prevent future methane.

What is the International Methane Emissions Observatory (IMEO)?

  • It was launched at the G20 Leaders Summit in 2021.
  • It focused initially on emissions of Methane from the fossil industry.
  • It reconciles methane data from scientific measurement studies, satellites through the Methane Alert and Response System (MARS), rigorous industry reporting through the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership 2.0 (OGMP 2.0), and national inventories. 
  • The Oil & Gas Methane Partnership 2.0 (OGMP 2.0) is UNEP’s flagship programme that includes a partnership of companies to improve the accuracy and transparency of methane emissions data from the oil and gas sector through a committed framework.

Q1) What is Methane (CH4)?

It is a hydrocarbon that is a primary component of natural gas. Methane is also a greenhouse gas (GHG), so its presence in the atmosphere affects the earth's temperature and climate system. Methane is emitted from a variety of anthropogenic (human-influenced) and natural sources.

Source: COP28 UAE: Methane Alert and Response System alerted governments of 127 plumes spanning four continents