Organizational Leaders from 9 Environmental and Community Advocacy Groups Call for Strong Methane Target in NDC

President Joseph R. Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20500

c/o Office of the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate
c/o Office of the White House National Climate Advisor

April 13, 2021

As organizations focused on protecting the environment and public health, we thank you for
rejoining the Paris Agreement and centering the climate crisis as a key goal of your
administration. Following the United States’ four-year regression on climate policy, your
forthcoming announcement of a new nationally determined contribution (NDC) under the Paris
Agreement offers you an opportunity to solidify your position as a global leader – and galvanize
climate action around the world – by setting ambitious targets that meet the scale and urgency of
the crisis.

Including a strong methane target in the NDC would make a vital contribution toward an
ambitious overall greenhouse gas reduction goal and is consistent with your goal of keeping the
1.5C degree guardrail in sight. Indeed, it won’t be possible to achieve this goal without fast
mitigation of methane. Reducing methane emissions represents a prime opportunity to rein in
warming over the next two decades, helping to protect vulnerable communities already
experiencing serious impacts from climate change. It’s also technologically attainable: an
economy-wide methane reduction of at least 40 percent is realistic by 2030. The majority of
those reductions could come from the fossil fuel sector; indeed, by 2025, your administration can
ensure low-cost methane reductions of 65 percent from the oil and gas industry, relative to 2005
levels, using its existing Clean Air Act authority.1

A strong methane emissions target would put the U.S. in good company with its global peers as
well. In October of 2020, the European Commission released the EU’s “methane strategy,”
signaling the start of a process to develop legislation to tackle methane pollution. In 2018,
Canada and Mexico issued strong methane standards for the oil and gas sector, and many other
countries are considering following their lead. By the same token, a strong U.S. commitment on
methane pollution would help galvanize similar action from other major global emitters like
China, India, and Russia. If executed correctly, the NDC can become the fulcrum for leveraging
international action on methane and other short-lived climate pollutants.

The world will be watching when you take to the podium to reintroduce the U.S. on the world
stage. On behalf of our millions of members who have spoken out in favor of strong methane
pollution standards, we urge you to announce a strong methane reduction goal, taking an
immediate bite out of U.S. emissions and ushering in a new era of U.S. leadership on climate
change.

Sincerely,

Armond Cohen, Executive Director, Clean Air Task Force

Abigail Dillen, President, Earthjustice

Jennifer Krill, Executive Director, Earthworks

Fred Krupp. President, Environmental Defense Fund

Mark Magaña, Founding President & CEO, GreenLatinos

Durwood Zaelke, President, Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development

Gene Karpinski, President, League of Conservation Voters

Mitch Bernard, President & Chief Counsel, Natural Resources Defense Council

Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club

1 Clean Air Task Force, Reducing Methane from Oil and Gas: A Path to a 65% Reduction in
Sector Emissions (Dec. 2020) https://www.catf.us/resource/reducing-methane-from-oil-and-gas/.

Environmental and Partner Group Fact Sheets

2021

  • Clean Air Task Force Fact Sheet on Reaching a 65% Reduction in Methane Emissions by 2025
  • Environmental Defense Fund Fact Sheet on the Methane CRA