Short-lived climate pollutants - including black carbon, methane, hydrofluorocarbons, and tropospheric ozone – are powerful climate forcers with global warming potentials many times that of carbon dioxide. They also significantly impact food, water and economic security for large populations throughout the world, both directly through their negative effects on public health, agriculture and ecosystems, and indirectly through their impact on the climate.

The relatively short atmospheric lifetime of short-lived climate pollutants, combined with their strong warming potential, means that strategies to reduce emissions can deliver climate and development benefits within a matter of decades.

The United Nations Environment Programme and World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) have identified a package of control measures to reduce short-lived climate pollutants that can achieve 90% of total potential emissions reductions for black carbon, methane and HFCs. Many of these measures involve cost-effective technologies and practices that already exist.

If quickly implemented, these measures can cut the amount of warming that would occur over the next few decades by as much as 0.6°C, while avoiding 2.4 million premature deaths from outdoor air pollution annually by 2030, and preventing 52 million tonnes of crop losses per year.

The below list outlines a range of activities targeting individual pollutants and key emitting sectors. It will continue to evolve with scientific findings and should not be considered exhaustive.

METHANE - 40% emissions reduction potential globally by 2030


  • Improve manure management and animal feed quality

  • Apply intermittent aeration of continuously flooded rice paddies

  • Improve animal health and husbandry by combining herd and health management, nutrition and feeding management strategies

  • Introduce selective breeding to reduce emission intensity and increase production

  • Promote farm-scale anaerobic digestion to control methane emissions from livestock

  • Adopt guideline on healthy dietary choices

  • Carry out pre-mining degasification and recovery and oxidation of methane from ventilation air from coal mines

  • Reduce leakage from long-distance gas transmission and distribution pipelines

  • Extend recovery and utilization from gas and oil production

  • Recover and use gas and fugitive emissions during oil and natural gas production


  • Separate and treat biodegradable municipal waste, and turn it into compost or bioenergy

  • Upgrade wastewater treatment with gas recovery and overflow control

  • Improve anaerobic digestion of solid and liquid waste by food industry

  • Upgrade primary waste water treatment

  • Divert organic waste

  • Collect, capture and use landfill gas

BLACK CARBON - 70% emissions reduction potential globally by 2030


  • Replace traditional cooking to clean burning modern fuel cookstoves
  • Replace traditional cooking and heating with clean-burning biomass stoves
  • Eliminate kerosene lamps
  • Replace lump coal with coal briquettes for cooking and heating
  • Replace wood stove and burners with pellet stoves and boilers
  • Modernize traditional brick kilns to vertical shaft brick kilns
  • Modernize coke ovens to recovery ovens


  • Use diesel particular filters for road and off-road vehicles
  • Fast transition to Euro VI/6 vehicles and soot-free buses and trucks
  • Eliminate high-emitting diesel vehicles


  • Ban open-field burning of agricultural waste


  • Capture and improve oil flaring and gas production
  • Ban open burning of municipal waste

HYDROFLUOROCARBONS (HFCs) - 56% emissions reduction potential by 2050 (upon execution of policies under the Kigali Amendment)


  • Ratify and comply with the control measures of the Kigali Amendment

  • Replace high-global warming potential hydrofluorocarbons with low- or zero-global warming potential alternatives, combined with improvements in lifecycle energy efficiency

  • Improve insulation materials and building designs to avoid the use of or reduce the need for air-conditioners


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