The UN Climate Summit will take place on 23 September 2014 in New York. The aim is to raise the level of global ambition on climate change by encouraging countries to announce national goals, and by launching ambitious international partnerships to cut emissions and promote adaptation.
As the UN Secretary-General has noted, the event is designed to be “a solutions summit, not a negotiating session.” Leaders from governments, businesses and civil society organizations are being asked “to raise the level of ambition through new and more robust action on climate change” and to increase political commitment for a major climate agreement in 2015 at COP21 in Paris. Equally important, the Summit is designed to encourage action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build climate resilient communities.
The CCAC’s Role
The CCAC will play a major role in the Summit. The UN has set out eight Action Areas for concentration, one of which is short-lived climate pollutants. Participants have been asked to contribute “bold announcements and actions,” and in its continued efforts to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), the Coalition will launch the following:
a partnership with oil and gas companies to reduce methane emissions
a green freight global action plan
a campaign with key countries and industries to lower the use of hydrofluorocarbons
an expanded approach to dealing with municipal solid waste that will help reduce the high levels of black carbon and methane emitted in many cities
new efforts to deal with some of the most serious sources of short-lived climate pollutants from agriculture.
Oil and Gas
Minimizing methane emissions from upstream oil and gas production is one of four key global methane mitigation opportunities, according to the International Energy Agency. Oil and gas is the second largest source of global anthropogenic methane emissions. The CCAC’s Oil and Gas Methane Partnership, which has already been endorsed by three international investor groups with more than $20 trillion in assets, intends to bring energy and commitment to this effort through joint action among governments and industry. It will be officially launched with the participation of energy companies at the Climate Summit.
The transportation sector contributes about 19 percent of black carbon emissions in the world. Heavy-duty diesel vehicles, such as those used for freight transportation, have a disproportionate impact on climate and air quality. The CCAC’s Global Green Freight Action Plan, a voluntary, multilateral, multi-stakeholder global partnership, aims to accelerate the adoption of advanced technologies to reduce black carbon and CO2 from the sector. It also targets fuel savings and cost reductions for business. The Action Plan will help harmonize national, regional and mode-specific green freight programs already in existence or being developed.
High Global Warming Potential HFCs
HFCs are potent greenhouse gases that are substitutes for ozone-depleting substances being phased out under the Montreal Protocol. While currently present in the atmosphere only in small quantities, their use is growing rapidly, increasing by as much as 10-15 percent per year. Without immediate action these emissions are projected to continue to accelerate rapidly, thus creating significant additional pressure on global warming. The CCAC’s initiative on Promoting HFC Alternative Technology and Standards is encouraging industry and governments to support a phasedown of HFC use through a number of avenues.
Municipal Solid Waste
Landfills are the third largest anthropogenic source of methane, accounting for approximately 11 percent of estimated global methane emissions. The CCAC’s initiative to Mitigate SLCPs from the Municipal Solid Waste Sector has been working with more than two dozen cities around the world to create momentum toward developing and implementing sustainable waste management practices to reduce SLCPs. At the Climate Summit the CCAC will offer a strong commitment from a number of cities and national governments to scale up this effort.
The agriculture sector is the largest source of methane emissions and produces significant amounts of black carbon. The CCAC Agriculture Initiative will launch three efforts at the Summit to deal with some of the most serious sources of short-lived climate pollutants: livestock and manure management, paddy rice production and open agricultural burning.