The American Thoracic Society applauds the collaborative effort of President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada to reduce methane emissions from the oil and natural gas sector. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to global climate change. Joint U.S.-Canada commitment to reduce methane emissions by 40-45 percent below 2012 levels by 2025 speaks volumes; it is a serious policy response that shows a willingness to embrace rigorous scientific research in advancing actions to address the human health risk posed by global climate change.
"This decision is a big win for communities and for public health," said Atul Malhotra, MD, ATS President. "Controlling methane gas emissions is an important step to addressing the myriad human health effects caused by global climate change. Hopefully this partnership between the U.S. and Canada will set the standard for more global initiatives."