Cote d’Ivoire endorses National Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Action Plan to improve air quality and mitigate climate change

The 16 mitigation measures endorsed in the plan would reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, other air pollutants and carbon dioxide, leading to over 1000 fewer premature deaths from air pollution exposure in Cote d’Ivoire every year by 2030.

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Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire

Cote d’Ivoire, in West Africa has a population of 24 million people, the majority of whom are exposed to levels of air pollution that exceed World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines. The WHO estimates that this exposure resulted in 34,000 premature deaths in 2016, including 8,000 child deaths from respiratory infections. At the same time, Cote d’Ivoire is experiencing the impacts of climate change, which threaten pillars of the Ivorian economy, like cocoa production, and the country’s socio-economic development. Despite making a small contribution to global emissions, Cote d’Ivoire has committed to an ambitious target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 28% compared to a business as usual scenario in its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).

The Cote d’Ivoire Anti-Pollution Centre (CIAPOL) under the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development has developed an ambitious plan to simultaneously improve air pollution and reduce Cote d’Ivoire’s contribution to climate change, through 16 specific mitigation measures in five key source sectors. Cote d’Ivoire’s National Action Plan to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) was formally endorsed by the Honourable Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Professor Joseph Séka Séka, on behalf of the Government in November 2019.

“Cote d’Ivoire does not intend to be on the side-lines of efforts to meet the challenges of climate change and air pollution,” Minister Séka Séka said. “The National Action Plan to Reduce SLCPs is of strategic importance for development in Cote d’Ivoire. This is why taking it into account in preparing the next National Development Plan and in strengthening our ambition to global climate goals in our NDC is a priority for us”.

Cote d'Ivoire's national action plan to reduce short-lived climate pollutants

Cote d'Ivoire's national action plan to reduce short-lived climate pollutants
Video: Cote d'Ivoire's national action plan to reduce short-lived climate pollutants

Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs), which include black carbon, methane, tropospheric ozone and HFCs, directly effect air pollution and human health and are also powerful climate forcers. The five sectors that are major SLCP sources in Cote d’Ivoire are agriculture, waste, transportation, oil & gas, and biomass burning in households and industries. These sectors are also large contributors to emissions of other air pollutants and carbon dioxide.

The 16 mitigation measures to reduce SLCPs in these sectors were identified and evaluated during the development of Cote d’Ivoire’s National SLCP Plan. Fully implementing them would lead to a 59% reduction in black carbon emissions, and a 34% reduction in methane emissions by 2030 compared to a business-as-usual scenario. As an added benefit, these measures are effective at reducing other air pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, and will also reduce CO2 emissions. Implementation would also avoid over 1000 premature deaths associated with exposure to outdoor air pollution and reduce exposure to air pollution indoors. At the same time, the plan would reduce Cote d’Ivoire’s greenhouse gas emissions by 19% in 2030, achieving more than half of Cote d’Ivoire’s climate change mitigation commitment.

The actions included in the National Action Plan include switching to cleaner fuels for cooking, reducing agricultural emissions from crop burning and livestock, regulation and enforcement of vehicle emission standards and reducing emissions from the oil and gas sector.

Cote d’Ivoire’s National Action Plan was developed with in-depth collaboration between all Ministries. Continued collaboration is key to ensure the plan is implemented.

“The expected benefits outlined in this plan will remain unrealised if sustained efforts are not taken to implement the 16 mitigation measures,” said Mr. Martin Niagne Dibi, Director of the Ivorian Anti-Pollution Centre (CIAPOL) at the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development.

Cote d’Ivoire is one of 12 countries that is developing a National SLCP Action Plan as part of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition’s Strengthening National Action & Planning (SNAP) Initiative. The planning process in each country identifies the most effective actions that can be taken to simultaneously reduce air pollution and mitigation climate change.

Helena Molin Valdés, Head of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition Secretariat, said Cote d’Ivoire is a regional leader on SLCP mitigation and is an important contributor to the ongoing Africa regional assessment on air pollution and climate change.

“Cote d’Ivoire has shown how an effective national planning process that combines strong engagement across government and civil society with science-based solutions can produce an Action Plan that will achieve real benefits for air quality, human health, climate change and sustainable development.” Ms. Molin Valdés said. “The political endorsement of this reflects the multiple benefits that can be achieved from ambitious action that targets both air pollution and climate change mitigation. We look forward to following its implementation.”

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