CCAC Working Group allocates more than $10 Million for work to reduce short-lived climate pollutants

Reducing Short-lived Climate Pollutants a climate change and development opportunity

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Meeting of the CCAC Working Group, Washington DC, April 1, 2016

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) Working Group has approved over $10 million in funding for initiatives to reduce Short-lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs). The money will go to activities like reducing SLCPs from the agriculture sector; improving policies and increasing awareness of the health and climate impacts of SLCPs in cities; and decreasing indoor air pollution and black carbon emissions through improved cooking, heating and lighting.

The funding will also help implement a global strategy to introduce low sulfur fuels and clean diesel vehicles, accelerate methane and black carbon reduction from oil and gas production, and support the national planning for action on SLCPs (SNAP) and institutional strengthening in five additional countries.

The Philippine's Climate Change Secretary, Emmanuel de Guzman, also launched a national five year plan to reduce SLCPs at city, local and national levels. Secretary de Guzman said that the Philippines plan builds on global commitments and frameworks such as the Paris Agreement, Sustainable Development Goals, and the Sendai Framework as well as national and local policies like the Philippine Ecological Solid Waste Management Act and local government codes. The Philippines plans to integrate SLCP mitigation in Local Climate Change Adaptation Plans and in the implementation of health, environment and climate change related activities using both national and local funding.

At the opening of the annual CCAC Science Policy Dialogue the Working Group was reminded that the eradication of SLCPs was critical to both the short and long term stability of the Earth’s climate and that much could be done in the next five years to substantially reduce these dangerous climate pollutants.  

Jonathan Pershing, the incoming U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change said that climate science shows that the rate of change is increasing and that the latest CCAC science update shows there is a significant underestimation of the extent and impact of black carbon on regions like the Arctic.  Mr Pershing urged participants to find ways to bring policy action to address the scientific findings.


Jonathan Pershing, incoming U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change, at the opening of the CCAC Science Policy Dialogue

“Now that we’ve reached a climate agreement in Paris, it is about implementation. It’s about moving from the vision of what we do to making that vision a reality,” Mr Pershing said. “The agenda, with the individual tasks that cut across the various elements of the pollution that we’ve chosen to work on are discreet. We’ve got countries undertaking projects. We’re working to finance those and thinking about next steps. That’s an enormous success. It’s a huge benefit.”

The latest science shows some disturbing trends in SLCP emissions. Satellite retrieval and surface observations suggested that US methane emissions have increased by more than 30% between 2002 and 2014 contrary to national inventory estimates and that total greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel use in the USA increased between 2009 and 2013 due to increased methane emission from shale gas production even though total CO2 emissions within this period declined.

Numerous studies show that high global warming hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), gases used for cooling and refrigeration, will grow steadily in the coming years under a business as usual scenario and contribute the equivalent to 12-24% of the total forcing expected from CO2 between 2015 and 2050. This is why CCAC partners are supporting an amendment to phase down the production and consumption of HFCs within the Montreal Protocol.

Mitigating SLCPs, particularly black carbon would reduce warming in the Arctic region by up to 0.5 °C by 2050. A reduction in black carbon emissions could also yield a decrease in mean summer surface temperature by up to 1°C in central parts of North America.

Drew Shindell, Head of the CCAC Scientific Advisory Panel, said that the findings show that we shouldn’t be debating on whether to work on short-lived climate pollutants or long lived ones but that we need to work on all climate pollutants if we want to avoid dangerous air pollution, feedback loops and keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius. Quick reduction of black carbon, methane and ground-level ozone also has immediate bearing on air-quality and many of the sustainable development goals. “It is a win-win strategy with multiple targets and benefits on different time scales”, he said.

The meeting of the Working Group was in held in conjunction with the Global Methane Forum, organized in partnership with Global Methane Initiative (GMI). The partnership highlights the importance and urgency needed to reduce methane emissions and the GMI were formally welcomed as partners in the CCAC. This brings the total number of CCAC partners to one hundred and eleven.

CCAC Annual Science Update, March 31, 2016

CCAC Annual Science Update, March 31, 2016
Watch: Video of the CCAC Annual Science Update

In welcoming GMI into the Coalition, CCAC Co-Chair Rita Cerutti called the GMI and CCAC natural partners, and said the new strategic partnership would help achieve significantly reduced methane emissions.

“In the CCAC we have a 5-Year Strategy aimed towards 2020 where we plan to bring about widespread adoption and implementation of policies, regulations and practices to substantially reduce SLCPs,” Ms Cerutti said. “With this kind of ambition, we need partners like the GMI. These types of partnerships provide the best chance of reaching our goal.”

Both the CCAC and GMI work on manmade methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, municipal solid waste and agriculture and manure management. The GMI is also working to reduce methane emissions from coal mining and waste water.

The next CCAC working group meeting is scheduled for September, 2016.

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