“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.