France's Royal applauds US-Canada move to cut methane emissions


United Nations (United States) (AFP)

France's ecology minister Segolene Royal on Friday welcomed new commitments from Canada and the United States to cut methane emissions, whose global warming potential is worse than carbon dioxide.

"That's great, very good news," Royal said about the announcement in Washington by President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"Canada is back," she said in English, describing the pledge as a "very strong signal" of Canada's new commitment to international efforts to fight climate change under Trudeau.

Royal was at the United Nations for meetings to prepare the signing on April 22 of the Paris accord to fight global warming

The minister noted that during the Paris talks, there was no agreement reached on curbing methane, which is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

So far, 35 leaders including French President Francois Hollande plan to attend the signing ceremony at UN headquarters that will fire the starting gun on implementing the landmark accord.

The agreement reached in December will come into effect by 2020, once at least 55 countries responsible for 55 percent of global greenhouse gases ratify the accord.

The Paris accord sets a target of containing global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels through a series of national measures.