Steps to reduce these pollutants will also contribute significantly to the achievement of several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These include: SDG 2 on sustainable agriculture, SDG 3 on health, SDG 7 on energy, SDG 11 on inclusive and sustainable cities, and SDG 12 on sustainable production and consumption.
The chapter’s authors note that there is significant potential to reduce SLCPs using available and proven technologies but in order to unlock that potential, dedicated policy action to strengthen legal frameworks and institutional capacities is required. An example of this potential is the Kigali Amendment to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the Montreal Protocol. Agreed to in October, 2016, the Amendment has the potential to decrease HFC emissions by 61% and prevent up to 0.09˚C of warming by 2050. Technology alternatives to HFC cooling and refrigeration systems are also often much more energy efficient than the systems they replace, which provides additional CO2 and air quality benefits by reducing energy consumption.
Reductions in SLCP emissions cannot be considered equivalent to reductions in long-lived greenhouse gases, as many impacts are not directly proportional to global mean temperature change at a given point in time. For this reason, climate change mitigation policies need to consider these two classes of emissions separately.
The lead authors of Chapter 6: ‘Bridging the gap - The role of short-lived climate pollutants’ are Zbigniew Kilmont, Research Scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and Drew Shindell, Professor of Climate Science at Duke University and Chair of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition Scientific Advisory Panel.