Our history

In 2011 The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) found that readily available solutions targeting compounds known as short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) would slow the rate of global warming much faster than action on carbon dioxide alone. These solutions would also reduce air pollution, representing “win-win” results for the climate, air quality, and human wellbeing within a relatively short timeframe.

In 2012, the importance of seizing this opportunity to reduce SLCPs and achieve the associated climate and development benefits led to action by the governments of Bangladesh, Canada, Ghana, Mexico, Sweden and the United States, along with UNEP. They jointly set out to treat short-lived climate pollutants as an urgent and collective challenge. Together, they formed the Climate & Clean Air Coalition – with its Secretariat and Trust Fund hosted by UNEP – to support fast action and deliver benefits across climate, public health, energy efficiency, and food security.

Since its founding, the CCAC has raised awareness of the need to act on these pollutants to rapidly reduce the rate of warming in the near term, improved the science behind them, and carried out activities in emitting sectors to prove the feasibility of available solutions.

Our work has contributed to numerous milestone developments in the advancement of SLCP action since 2012, including the passing of binding international agreements such as the Kigali Amendment. We have made numerous contributions to delivering the different UNEP Medium Term Strategies and the SDGs, as an example of ‘delivering through partnership.' A selection of our major milestones is listed below.

November 2021
Glasgow, Scotland - Global Methane Pledge launched

CCAC partners the United States and European Union launch the Global Methane Pledge at COP26. Signatories commit to support existing international methane emission reduction initiatives, such as those of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, the Global Methane Initiative, and the relevant work of the United Nations Environment Programme, including the International Methane Emissions Observatory, to advance technical and policy work that will serve to underpin Participants’ domestic actions. On the cusp of the 10th anniversary of the CCAC, the 2021 Ministerial Meeting approved the CCAC’s 2030 Strategy.

May 2021
Paris, France – Global Methane Assessment Launched

The UNEP-CCAC Global Methane Assessment is a landmark study on the impact of methane on air pollution and climate change, as well as the options for mitigating methane emissions.

January 2019
Worldwide – Kigali Amendment Comes Into Force

The legally binding Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol to reduce HFCs comes into force. The CCAC played a major role in getting the Amendment passed. If fully supported by governments, the private sector and citizens, the Kigali Amendment will avoid up to 0.4°C of global warming this century while continuing to protect the ozone layer. The amendment will substantively contribute to the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Drew Shindell, Chair of the CCAC Scientific Advisory Panel
April 2017
Santiago, Chile – 20th Working Group Meeting and 3rd Policy Dialogue

The CCAC's Multiple Benefits Pathway Approach is launched.

March 2017
Ottawa, Canada – Near-Term Metrics for Accounting and Reporting in Black Carbon and Methane Interventions

The CCAC’s Scientific Advisory Panel meets with experts to develop recommendations on metrics for evaluating the impacts of methane and black carbon interventions.

CCAC High Level Assembly 2016
November 2016
Marrakech, Morocco – 8th High-Level Assembly at COP22

The Global Low-Sulfur Diesel and Clean Vehicle Strategy is endorsed, and voluntary black carbon inventories are launched. Several side events focus on short-lived climate pollutants and mitigation.

October 2016
Quito, Ecuador – Habitat III Conference

The BreatheLife Campaign is launched with Chile, Norway, United Nations Environment Programme and World Health Organisation.

October 2016
Kigali, Rwanda – Kigali Amendment

The Kigali Amendment to The Montreal Protocol Passes

July 2016
Vienna, Austria – High Level Executive Assembly

The special executive session calls for immediate action on an amendment to phase down HFCs under The Montreal Protocol.

April 2016
Washington DC, USA – Global Methane Forum and Science Policy Dialogue

Event co-hosted by the CCAC and Global Methane Initiative

December 2015
Paris, France – The Coalition Runs the Lima-Paris Action Agenda SLCP Day.

Ministers adopt the CCAC’s five-year strategic plan 2015-2020 during the 7th high-level assembly.

May 2015
Geneva, Switzerland – World Health Assembly

The CCAC’s 6th High-Level Assembly is held on the margins of the World Health Assembly. The CCAC begins work to transform Nepal’s brick sector after a devastating earthquake.

September 2014
New-York, USA – UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit

Short-lived climate pollutants are a thematic area of focus. The CCAC launches four major commitments on oil & gas, hydrofluorocarbons, green freight, and municipal solid waste.

June 2014
Nairobi, Kenya – United Nations Environment Assembly

Delegates adopt the UNEA resolution on air quality. The coalition holds several side events on bricks, municipal solid waste, and diesel, and provides SLCP media training.

November 2013
Warsaw, Poland – 4th High-Level Assembly at COP19

Ministers of CCAC partner countries celebrate first successes and enhance actions

September 2013
Oslo, Norway – 3rd High-Level Assembly

An ambitious agenda is announced with the release of the Oslo Communique. The CCAC begins health-focused work, welcomes the WHO and calls on the World Bank to set up financing facilities for short-lived climate pollutants

July 2013
Mexico City, Mexico – 5th Working Group Meeting

The Agriculture Initiative is launched and the CCAC secretariat set up at the United Nations Environment Programme in Paris.

Members of the CCAC Scientific Advisory Panel
December 2012
Doha, Qatar – High-Level Assembly

Ministers from 25 nations commit to scaling up voluntary action to reduce short-lived climate pollutants. The CCAC’s Scientific Advisory Panel is established.

April 2012
Stocklholm, Sweden – 1st Ministerial Meeting

The CCAC’s first seven initiatives are launched on the occasion of the UN Conference of the Human Environment.