ASIA-PACIFIC MINISTERIAL ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION
9 July 2018, Singapore
What does ambition to reach the Paris Agreement temperature goals look like?
- Reaching the Paris Agreement temperature goals will only be possible with fast reductions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs).[i] This – alongside action on long-lived gases – will ensure we are on a pathway to keeping the global temperature increase as low as possible, and is particularly important if we are to achieve the 1.5 degree Celsius goal.
- Political leadership from the top levels of government can drive action, especially to exploit the synergies between the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- SLCP reduction actions should not be seen as a cost, but rather as an opportunity, both from an economic perspective (more efficient and productive economy) and a health perspective (billions saved in avoided health costs, which can be reinvested).
- SLCP reduction actions very positively engage citizens by demonstrating that climate action is achievable and that it can improve lives. SLCP actions provide an immediacy of climate benefits that can be helpful in building support for other difficult climate issues.
- Ambition is most convincingly demonstrated by a whole-of-government approach to concrete actions that integrate climate action with achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly those that relate to air quality.
- An integrated approach for addressing air quality and climate simultaneously is particularly important in Asia. Many Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) highlight agriculture as a priority, and we have success stories to demonstrate how increased productivity can be achieved with both mitigation and adaptation co-benefits.
- There needs to be a strong focus on sustainable cities. City action plans are a good place to start. National and local levels of government should work together to achieve the best results.
- Ambition needs to be married with a clear roadmap for financing and investments, both public and private, national and international.
- Addressing SLCPs eases the burden on adaptation because it slows the increase in global warming more quickly than action on CO2 alone. Countries taking action on SLCPs are increasingly those most exposed to climate risks.
What the Climate & Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) can do
- Raise awareness about the additional and multiple benefits of SLCP and air pollution reduction actions, emphasizing storylines that compel citizens to support ambitious action. It is easier to take ambitious action when these benefits are taken into consideration. The CCAC should share its success stories to let others know what is working and already happening in order to increase ambition.
- Encourage countries to include methane and HFCs in their future NDCs and to consider referencing air quality control measures in relation to black carbon. The CCAC should provide awareness raising, tools and capacity building to this end.
- Work regionally to share successes and pragmatic information. Combined with the CCAC’s efforts above, including on the “Multiple Benefits Pathway Approach,” this can be an important contributor to increasing ambition, including in countries’ revised NDCs and Mid-Century Strategies.