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Press Release - GWP*: Applications & Misapplications

Our new briefing paper, “GWP*: Applications & Misapplications” focuses on the issue of methane emissions. It explores the different behaviour of CO2 and methane and the different ways in which they contribute to global heating. We look at the problems with the standard GWP100 accounting metric and hence the emergence of GWP*, as well as the arguments for using GWP20 or reporting CO2 and methane separately. We highlight the dangers of misuse of GWP*, which can result in spuriously underplaying the need for methane reductions, whereas, if properly used, GWP* has the effect of emphasising, much more so than GWP100, the need for rapid methane reductions. When looking at methane emissions specifically from agriculture, we also highlight that other factors such as land use and water footprints need to be considered alongside CO2 and methane emissions while exploring options for more sustainable land management and food systems.

Image of Lake District farming landscape

This publication follows the recent release of our multi-regional input-output model (MRIO) for carbon accounting of global supply chains. Both publications are aimed at accelerating global efforts to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement goal to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C.

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