A number of SLCP reduction measures have been identified that can reduce warming in the LAC region by between 0.3 to 0.9 degrees Celsius by 2050. Over the same timeframe these measures will decrease annual premature deaths from PM2.5 by at least 25% and deaths from ozone by 40%, and avoid annual losses of 3-4 million tonnes of four major crops – soybeans, maize, wheat, and rice.
“Unless action is taken to reduce SLCPs now, emissions from the region will increase significantly by 2050 adding additional impacts on climate, health and agriculture,” says Leo Heileman, UNEP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. “Many countries are already taking part in SLCP reduction initiatives at both national and subnational levels. Scaling up these efforts, strengthening policies and improving regional cooperation will lead to widespread reductions of SLCPs with large near term benefits for the region.”
The LAC region is one of the most urbanized in the world, with almost 80 per cent living in cities. Helena Molin Valdés, Head of the UNEP hosted CCAC Secretariat said that urban air pollution has been a concern for many years but many countries and cities in the region are now making commitments to improve air quality for both health and climate.
"Reducing air pollution from black carbon, methane and tropospheric ozone will show quick results, help achieve many of the global sustainable development goals, save lives now and protect future generations,” Ms Molin Valdés said. “Immediate reductions of both CO2 and SLCPs are necessary to achieve our long-term climate goals, and this can only be achieved by implementing both CO2 and SLCP measures in parallel.”
The Assessment identifies activities that can significantly reduce SLCP emissions. For example black carbon emissions can be reduced by over 80 per cent by 2050 in most countries by focusing on initiatives that modernize cooking and heating stoves, improve diesel vehicle standards to Euro VI equivalent, put diesel particulate filters on vehicles, eliminate high emitting vehicles, and enforce bans on open field agricultural burning. (See Black Carbon Measures infographic at bottom of page)
To reduce methane emissions six measures across four sectors – oil and gas production and distribution, waste management, coal mining and agriculture – have been identified. These include activities like: the recovery and use of vented gas in oil and gas production, separation and treatment of biodegradable municipal solid waste, and recovering biogas from livestock manure using anaerobic digestion. (See Methane Measures infographic at bottom of page)