Cutting methane emissions is one of the most effective ways to stabilize the climate. It can also improve public health. Unlocking opportunities to make gains on both fronts could spark greater ambition for more significant methane reductions. That’s why EDF, with the help of the Wellcome Trust, is bringing together diverse groups of researchers, policy experts and advocates to develop recommendations for action.  

  • Methane's role in the climate crisis

    Methane, a powerful greenhouse gas and short-lived climate pollutant, is accelerating climate change and contributing to impacts on our health. More frequent, intense storms, heat waves and droughts threaten our ecosystems and daily lives, and oil and gas, agriculture and landfills are major sources of this potent pollutant 

  • Methane's health impacts

    Methane can also result in poor air quality by contributing to the formation of ground level ozone and particulate pollution. Exposure to ozone and particulate pollution damages airways, aggravates lung diseases, causes asthma attacks, increases rates of preterm birth, cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and heightens stroke risk.

  • Harmful to local communities

    These air pollutants as well as other toxic pollutants emitted alongside methane can be especially damaging to communities living and working near oil and gas operations, landfills and agricultural facilities.

    Exposure to these pollutants comes with a significant price tag: lost productivity, higher medical costs and greater pressure on health systems. Ozone can even exacerbate food insecurity by suppressing crop growth.

  • Solutions to cut methane, improve health

    The good news: new technologies and scientific advancements can reduce emissions, improve human health, increase animal productivity and even boost nutrition.

    Highlighting the near-term health benefits of cutting methane is critical to generating the support, collaboration and investment needed to cut methane emissions and improve public health worldwide.

    A recording from the COP27 panel on the health-methane nexus will be posted to our Convenings page when it becomes available.

  • Learn more about methane and health

    New report from UNEP and Climate & Clean Air Coalition: Global Methane Assessment

    This assessment, from the United Nations Environment Programme and the Climate & Clean Air Coalition, highlights the critical role that reducing methane emissions can play in slowing the rate of climate change. There are multiple benefits to fast action on methane: reduction in the rate of global warming, improved air quality, strengthened food security, and job creation, among others.

    Read the report
  • Learn more about methane and health

    EDF's Ilissa Ocko's TED Talk: The fastest way to slow climate change now

    "Cutting methane is the single fastest, most effective opportunity to reduce climate change risks in the near term," says atmospheric scientist Ilissa Ocko. That's because, unlike carbon dioxide, methane's warming power doesn't come from a gradual buildup over time but is almost entirely from recent emissions. Ocko identifies three main sources of methane pollution which, if addressed, could dramatically slow down the rate of global warming within years -- not decades. "This is the methane moment," Ocko says.

    Watch the TED Talk
  • Learn more about methane and health

    New report on the role of animal health to reduce emissions

    A report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in collaboration with the Global Dairy Platform and the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, digs into case studies that can provide guidance for those in the livestock sector as well as policy makers who want to capture co-benefits of cattle health as part of climate commitments.

    Read the report