Emissions of short-lived climate pollutants - such as black carbon, methane and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) - and associated emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants are harming millions of people around the world through their direct and indirect impacts on human health, agriculture, ecosystems, and the climate.

Compelling scientific evidence indicates that fast action to control these pollutants will achieve substantial, immediate climate and air quality benefits for communities around the world. Achieving this requires action at the national scale, as decision making is often made at the national level.

Rapid reductions in short-lived climate pollutant emissions can be achieved through the implementation of cost-effective measures through national policies, programmes and regulatory frameworks, such as those used to address air quality, climate change and sustainable development. The need for urgent action to address short-lived climate pollutants is now widely recognised, but support for national governments is needed to identify and promote the key measures that can bring rapid health and environmental benefits for their country, and global climate benefits.

The Coalition’s SNAP Initiative (Supporting National Action & Planning on Short-lived climate pollutants) is a collaborative programme aimed at supporting the efforts of Coalition partner countries to scale up action in a coordinated and prioritized way. This includes helping countries to identify and implement the most cost-effective pathways to large-scale implementation of mitigation measures that will reduce near-term warming while also improving air quality, human health and crop yields.

The SNAP initiative aims to address various challenges countries are facing to scale up action. These include:

  • Lack of awareness of the short-lived climate pollutants issues and the links between air pollution and climate change mitigation amongst the key government departments and stakeholders in the country
  • Lack of knowledge of emission sources and the ability to quantify the magnitude of relevant emissions and the potential for mitigation that hinders the ability to take informed decisions
  • A lack of institutional capacity to coordinate the implementation of short-lived climate pollutant measures
  • A lack of coordination between air quality and climate planning departments within governments resulting in inefficient planning and siloed strategies to address both problems and scattered, uncoordinated action being taken to implement measures that achieve the near-term climate, health and ecosystem benefits
  • Little or limited planning to embed short-lived climate pollutant policies within national strategies, plans and programmes
  • A lack of consideration of the role that regional and other international processes and agreements could play in the mitigation of short-lived climate pollutants and coordinated air quality and climate change mitigation planning

Top facts

Total deaths caused by air pollution in the 14 SNAP countries = 426,976 premature deaths
Total crop yield loss 2,110,000 tonnes (or 2.1 million tonnes) from 14 countries caused by ozone pollution
16 measures targeting Black Carbon and Methane implemented fully in all countries of the globe can avoid 0.5 degrees warming by 2050


Control measures

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.

Many of the health, crop yield, ecosystem and climate benefits will be felt within the country where action is taken, which provides a strong rationale for taking action on short-lived climate pollutants at a national scale.

Short-lived climate pollutant emissions sources vary by country. Within SNAP initiative partner countries, locally important emission sources include: the parboiling of rice in Bangladesh, marine transport emissions in the Maldives, and the use of biomass stoves for heating in Chile. It is the function of the national planning process to identify the these sources and identify the most relevant actions.

The activities carried out by the initiative intend to help countries to:

  • Coordinate action on short-lived climate pollutants
  • Identify major emission sources, their likely evolution and mitigation potential
  • Assess the co-benefits of action
  • Prioritise the most relevant measures at a national scale
  • Identify ways to promote and implement mitigation measures
  • Consider supporting relevant actions within existing strategies and development agendas
  • Incorporate short-lived climate pollutants into existing plans and activities where they are not currently considered (for example: Nationally Determined Contributions, National Communications, Climate Strategies, Air Quality Strategies, National Development Plans)  
  • Initiate new programmes where they are lacking in a country


The SNAP Initiative aims to support rapid and large-scale implementation of short-lived climate pollutant mitigation measures at the national level. Coalition partner countries have highlighted the need for programmes to help countries understand and assess the scope of national short-lived climate pollutant impacts, mitigation potential and the benefits of action.

The goal of the SNAP Initiative is to develop capacity within partner countries for effective national planning as a foundation for rapid and large-scale implementation of short-lived climate pollutant mitigation.

The initiative has three key objectives:

  • Supporting the development of national short-lived climate pollutant planning processes: This includes: i) increasing action in countries by embedding short-lived climate pollutants into on-going activities and policies; ii) building capacity to coordinate short-lived climate pollutant issues at the national scale to identify priorities in the country; and iii) providing regionally coordinated support for institutional strengthening in participating countries.
  • Enhancing tools and approaches to support key steps of the national planning process: This includes supporting partner countries to develop emission scenarios and estimate the benefits of emission reductions to help in prioritise mitigation measures.
  • Fostering linkages and collaboration between national SLCP planning with global and regional processes, initiatives and approaches.


Location of activities

  • Africa
    • Central African Republic
    • Congo (Kinshasa)
    • Ghana
    • Ivory Coast
    • Morocco
    • Nigeria
    • Togo
  • Asia and the Pacific
    • Bangladesh
    • Maldives
    • Mongolia
    • Philippines
  • Europe
    • Moldova
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
    • Chile
    • Colombia
    • Dominican Republic
    • Mexico
    • Peru
    • Uruguay

Description of activities

Workstream | SNAP
Regional cooperation is essential to raise ambition and scale up short-lived climate pollutant mitigation actions. Since 2012, the Coalition’s SNAP initiative has supported regional workshops that...
Workstream | SNAP
The lack of quantitative data can impede efforts to make the case for action to reduce short-lived climate pollutants. The Coalition’s SNAP Initiative has developed a suite of tools to help countries...
Workstream | SNAP
While many countries recognize the value of addressing short-lived climate pollutants and taking an integrated approach to climate and air quality planning, they often lack capacity within the...
Workstream | SNAP
The major health, climate, crop yield and ecosystem benefits of short-lived climate pollutant mitigation that have been identified in global assessments will only be achieved through widespread and...


Since its launch in 2013, the SNAP Initiative has developed a methodology and set of tools to support countries in their planning efforts on short-lived climate pollutants. In 2018, major achievements were:

  • 12 countries developing national plans on short-lived climate pollutants, with 3 plans submitted for official endorsement in Ghana, Bangladesh and Colombia
  • 18 additional countries developing integrated inventories of greenhouse gases, short-lived climate pollutants (including Black Carbon) and air pollutants
  • Ministries of environment in 22 countries are involved in the institutional strengthening support for enhancing SLCP action
  • 7 major regional meetings on SLCP mitigation in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East and North Africa regions since 2012
  • 1 internationally recognised tool, that is used to estimate the air pollution and climate impact benefits of different mitigation strategies (LEAP-IBC) developed and used in 11 countries
  • 2 guidelines for developing countries willing to undertake a national planning process and/or use the tool
  • 2,060 person-days of training delivered through 42 training events such as national LEAP-IBC trainings and consultations, regional and global peer exchange workshops

Initiative contacts

Seraphine Haeussling,
Programme Management Officer
Seraphine.Haeussling [at] un.org

Partners & Actors

Lead Partner: A Coalition partner with an active role in coordinating, monitoring and guiding the work of an initiative.

Implementer: A Coalition partner or actor receiving Coalition funds to implement an activity or initiative.


Back to Top