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Cheapest Path for Big Methane Cuts Goes Through Australia's Mines

The country’s coal mines could reduce Australia’s annual methane emissions 18% by 2030, according to an analysis from energy think tank Ember.

A bucket-wheel dumps soil and sand removed from part of the coal mine in Newcastle, Australia.

A bucket-wheel dumps soil and sand removed from part of the coal mine in Newcastle, Australia.

Photographer: Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images

Cutting methane leaks from coal mines is the cheapest way for Australia to significantly reduce emissions of the potent greenhouse gas, according to a new analysis from energy think tank Ember

The nation’s coal mines spew more than 1 million metric tons of methane each year, contributing nearly a quarter of the country’s emissions of the gas, the group said in an analysis released Wednesday. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s government is considering joining the more than 120 nations that have signed the  Global Methane Pledge, in which participants take voluntary actions to collectively reduce emissions of the gas at least 30% from 2020 levels by 2030.