Global Methane Initiative

Official title: Global Methane Initiative (GMI)

Subject category:
Climate Change
Type of agreement / instrument:
Voluntary international initiative
Canada is Chair of the GMI Steering Committee, as well as Co-Chair of the Biogas and Oil and Gas Subcommittees. Canada has been a Partner country of the GMI since 2005.
Lead & partner departments:
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Climate and Clean Air Coalition, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
For further information:
Web links:
ECCC Inquiry Centre
Compendium edition:
June 2022
Reference #:

Plain language summary

The Global Methane Initiative (GMI) is an international partnership of 46 partner governments and more than 700 non-governmental members dedicated to reducing methane emissions and advancing the recovery and use of methane as a valuable energy source. In 2021, the GMI renewed its charter for an additional 10 years. Under this new charter, Canada assumed the role of Chair of the GMI Steering Committee, with the United States and India as Vice Chairs. This marks a continuation of Canada’s leadership role in the GMI, having previously served as Co-Chair from 2016-2020. In this role, Canada works with other countries and partners to spur actions internationally to reduce emissions of methane. Methane is a short-lived climate pollutant that has a powerful warming effect on the climate, and is a precursor to ground-level ozone. The GMI Steering Committee oversees three subcommittees focused on emission reductions from key emitting sectors: oil and gas, biogas (including the agriculture, municipal solid waste, and wastewater technical groups), and coal mines. Canada is Co-Chair of the oil and gas and the biogas subcommittees.


The GMI aims to reduce global methane emissions and to advance the abatement, recovery and use of methane as a valuable energy source. Through its approach, the GMI aims to increase energy security, enhance economic growth, improve air quality, and improve industrial safety. GMI achieves this by creating an international network of partner governments, private sector members, development banks, universities, and non-governmental organizations to conduct assessments, build capacity, create partnerships, and share information to facilitate project development in Partner Countries.

The Initiative has formed key alliances with partners such as the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) to work together on addressing global methane emissions. This collaborative approach enables GMI and its partners to reach a broad audience and leverage a range of resources and opportunities.

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, as well as a precursor to ground-level ozone- a key component of smog. As a short-lived climate pollutant, it has a much shorter life span in the atmosphere than CO2 and other long-lived GHGs, meaning that taking action to reduce methane emissions can have a beneficial climate impact in only a few years. Reducing methane, an ozone-precursor, can also help improve air quality.

Key elements

As a Partner country, Canada is expected to participate actively in GMI-sponsored events, collaborate with partners to find cost-effective mitigation solutions, support development of emission reducing projects, and communicate progress and activities to other members.

As the Chair, Canada is committed to providing strategic guidance for the GMI as a whole to advance methane abatement, recovery and use on a global scale. Canada organizes regular meetings to bring GMI partners together to strengthen partnerships, share information and showcase innovative technologies aimed at reducing and/or utilizing methane.

The GMI focuses on three major methane sources:

  • biogas (including agriculture, solid waste, and wastewater);
  • coal mines; and
  • oil and gas.

Expected results

Expected results of the GMI include:

  • Development of an international network of partners (member states, civil society, financiers, academia, and private sector) that facilitates the sharing of experience and expertise in methane reduction technologies, building capacity, and addressing challenges to project development;
  • The establishment of a clearinghouse of shovel-ready projects all over the world through the development of feasibility studies for methane reduction projects in the five key methane-emitting sectors;
  • The implementation of projects that significantly reduce emissions of methane;
  • Market opportunities for clean energy technology developers and exporters;
  • Increased global momentum and action on methane, including through collaboration with other international organizations such as the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

Canada’s involvement

Canada has been an active member of the GMI since 2005 and  has played a leadership role in the GMI since 2016, initially as Co-Chair of the Steering Committee (2016-2020), and currently as Chair of the Steering Committee. Canadian representatives also serve as Co-Chairs of the GMI oil and gas and biogas sub-committees. Outside of leadership roles, Canadian delegates participate as members of the GMI Steering Committee and its subcommittees.

In April 2018, Canada hosted the Global Methane Forum (GMF) jointly with the GMI and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) in Toronto. The GMF is a premier global event for discussing and advancing methane mitigation, science, policy, technology innovation, funding and other relevant issues. Close to 400 participants from 51 countries attended the 2018 GMF.

Building on this success, Canada is supporting the GMI secretariat in planning the next Global Methane Forum in collaboration with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.

Through its leadership and participation in the GMI, Canada supports increased global action on methane mitigation through capacity building initiatives, knowledge and information exchange, and the development and implementation of public-private clean energy technologies projects. As chair of the Steering Committee, Canada also plays a key role in providing strategic direction to the organization jointly with its Vice Chairs from the U.S. and India. This work includes supporting the commitment by the GMI and the CCAC to increase their collaboration, build on synergies and prevent duplication.

Canada played a key role in guiding the GMI through the process of renewing its charter in 2021. As a result, the GMI’s mandate has been renewed for 10 years. Canada will continue to use its term as Chair to strengthen the GMI’s ability to advance global mitigation of methane emissions.

Between 2007 and 2012, Canada invested more than $2.5M in methane emission reduction projects through the GMI. This investment was matched by more than $12M in contributions from other public and private sector partners. These projects included a wide range of activities to help reduce fugitive methane emissions especially in the oil and gas sector in China and Mexico and in the waste sector in Mexico. Canada will be investing $2M in Climate Finance Funding to projects in developing countries over the next four years.

Results / progress


  • Virtual event held to in 2021 to raise international awareness of the critical need to reduce methane emissions.  “A Call to Action on Methane: an international dialogue hosted by GMI” attracted over 600 viewers from around the world and featured keynote speakers from the International Energy Agency, UN Economic Commission for Europe, Environmental Defense Fund, and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition;
  • Renewal of GMI’s charter for 10 years (2021-2031);
  • Establishment of a new leadership structure for the GMI Steering Committee. Canada assumed position of Chair, with India and U.S. as Vice Chairs;
  • Canada served as Co-Chair of the Steering Committee between 2016 and 2020;
  • Canada hosted the Global Methane Forum in April 2018;
  • GMI launch of the “Global Methane Challenge” in 2018;
  • Regular meetings of the GMI Steering Committee and the subcommittees;
  • Regular sector-specific workshops, training sessions, and webinars, as well as the development of project assessment of tools and resources.


The Global Methane Initiative Secretariat, housed within the US Environmental Protection Agency, maintains an electronic database of reports, tools and resources from GMI meetings, conferences, and events:


Since its inception in 2004, the GMI has achieved the following results:

  • nearly $650 million in leveraged funding for projects and training;
  • contributed to reductions in methane emissions by about 500 million Mt of CO2 equivalent;
  • developed more than 150 tools and publications;
  • conducted more than 1600 measurement studies and prefeasibility studies;
  • a growing membership of 46 country members (including major emerging economies such as China, India, and Brazil);
  • a Project Network of more than 700 private sector partners actively participating in the activities of the GMI.

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