S3E46: Methane removal?! AKA Methane is having a moment—w/ Erika Reinhardt of Spark Climate Solutions

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In this episode of the Reversing Climate Change podcast, cohosts Ross Kenyon and Siobhan Montoya Lavender are joined by Erika Reinhardt, Co-founder and Executive Director of Spark Climate Solutions. Together, they delve into the pressing issue of methane and its increasing significance in the climate zeitgeist, and when can we expect methane removal to appear?

The conversation kicks off with a discussion on why methane deserves our attention. Erika explains that methane is a potent greenhouse gas, with initial emissions being 120 times more potent than carbon dioxide when it is first released into the atmosphere. Despite its relatively short atmospheric lifespan of approximately twelve years, methane is responsible for a whopping 0.5℃ warming impact on our climate.

Is methane “destroyed”? Is it “converted”? How should we think about methane in the context of the dreaded carbon dioxide questions: should we focus on reductions or removal? (hint, most answers start with ‘yes, and’).

The episode also highlights the concerning rise of both natural and anthropogenic sources of methane. Erika underlines the importance of taking comprehensive action to curb methane emissions from various sectors—it’s not just oil and gas, it’s not just cow belching, it’s a big and complex picture that needs lots of different solutions and mitigation measures.

Drawing parallels between methane removal and carbon removal, the conversation explores the similarities and notable differences between the two. Listeners gain insights into the unique challenges and opportunities associated with methane removal strategies.

Erika shares the motivations behind founding Spark Climate Solutions and provides an overview of the organization's current objectives.

Throughout the episode, the hosts and guest emphasize the urgency of addressing methane emissions and highlight the potential impact of targeted strategies and where the gaps lie. If you're curious about greenhouse gasses beyond carbon dioxide, this is the episode for you!

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