About

The United States is a founding member of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), hosting the Coalition’s launch in 2012. The U.S. has played a significant role in developing the Coalition’s sectoral initiatives and bolstering its national planning work. 

What we do between now and 2030 is going to impact significantly whether we'll be able to meet our longer-term commitment. And one of the most important things we can do in this decisive decade to keep 15 degrees in reach is reduce our methane emissions as quickly as possible.
Joe Biden
President of the United States of America

Recently, the U.S. has helped shape and implement the Coalition’s 2030 Strategy and Global Methane Flagship. The U.S. has provided $18.2 million to the CCAC Trust Fund to mainstream integrated planning and action to mitigate near-term climate change and improve air quality.

In 2021, the U.S. resumed its position as CCAC co-chair for a two-year period, aiming to drive action on methane emissions during its tenure. Rick Duke, Senior Director and White House Liaison for Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, represents the United States in this role. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan chaired the CCAC ministerial held on the margins of the twenty-sixth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) in November 2021.

The United States supports CCAC projects in developing countries as a donor to the CCAC Trust Fund. Details about the United States' contributions and pledges can be found here.

CCAC Activities

Activity | Agriculture
Ongoing
We must act now to reshape agriculture in ways that support farmers, improve productivity, build resilience, and reduce emissions. The goals of the Paris Agreement cannot be met without...
Activity | Waste
Ghana | Ongoing
As a member of the Coalition's Municipal Solid Waste Initiative city network, the city of Accra, Ghana has undertaken multiple initiatives to improve waste collection and separation practices,...
Workstream | SNAP
Ongoing
Regional cooperation is essential to raise ambition and scale up short-lived climate pollutant mitigation actions. Since 2012, the Coalition’s SNAP initiative has supported regional workshops that...

Other activities

Methane

Global Methane Pledge

On November 2, 2021, President Joe Biden alongside European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen formally launched the Global Methane Pledge, an initiative to reduce global methane emissions 30% by 2030 from 2020 levels. A total of over 100 countries representing 70% of the global economy and nearly half of anthropogenic methane emissions have now signed onto the pledge. Delivering on the Global Methane Pledge would reduce warming by at least 0.2 degrees Celsius by 2050, providing a crucial foundation for global climate change mitigation efforts.  In addition, according to the Global Methane Assessment published by the CCAC and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), achieving the pledge target would prevent over 200,000 premature deaths, hundreds of thousands of asthma-related emergency room visits, and over 20 million tons of crop losses a year by 2030.

Global Methane Initiative

The United States EPA and Department of State have long provided key leadership for the Global Methane Initiative (GMI), an international public-private partnership to mitigate methane emissions in the oil and gas, coal mines, and biogas sectors. Since 2014, country membership in the GMI has grown from 14 to 45 countries, and nearly 800 project network members have joined the Initiative, hailing from the private sector, financial institutions, and other governmental and non-governmental organizations. To date, GMI has trained more than 17,000 people and leveraged more than $655 million in funding, helping to implement over 1,700 methane mitigation projects. Collectively, these projects have slashed methane emissions by nearly 500 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e).

U.S. Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan

On November 2, 2021, White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy announced the release of the U.S. Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan, a whole-of-government approach to tackle methane emissions across sectors. This plan focuses on the largest sources of methane emissions to accelerate cost-effective mitigation measures in oil and gas, landfills, agriculture, and coal mines. The Action Plan will mobilize action across U.S. agencies, including:

  • EPA rules to broaden and strengthen methane emissions regulation for new oil and gas facilities, require state plans to reduce methane emissions from existing sources, and reduce methane from landfills
  • Department of Transportation rules to require gas pipeline operators to cut methane leaks and excursions
  • Department of Interior programs to remediate and plug methane leaks from orphan oil and gas wells and abandoned coal mines, while creating tens of thousands of jobs
  • Department of Agriculture workstreams to partner with farmers and ranchers to identify voluntary, incentive-based approaches to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including methane.

Black carbon

Alongside other Arctic Council states, the U.S. is committed to collectively reduce black carbon emissions 25-33% below 2013 levels by 2025. The Arctic Council’s Expert Group on Black Carbon and Methane estimates that states are on track to accomplish this goal. The Expert Group is now considering updates to the goal to further increase ambition.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

President Biden’s January 2021 Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad orders the initiation of the ratification process for the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. In 2020, the Coronavirus Pandemic Relief Bill included the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act of 2020 which will phase down HFC production and consumption in line with the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. This is likely to make a dramatic economic contribution that could include 33,000 new jobs, $12.5 billion in new investment, and a 25 percent increase in exports—all from phasing down HFCs.

In 2015 and 2016, American representatives played key leadership roles in the CCAC’s successful rallying of support for the Kigali Amendment, which will deliver a minimum 80 percent reduction in the projected production and consumption of HFCs over the next 30 years. Coalition Ministers convened a special session at a critical point in pre-negotiations to clear the way for the agreement in Kigali and call for an ambitious HFC phasedown amendment in the Vienna Communique.

Sector-specific action on short-lived climate pollutants

Agriculture

Global initiatives:

Voluntary initiatives:

  • Since January 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a suite of updates to the Department’s programs and services to support farmers, ranchers, forest landowners, partners and rural communities in combatting the impacts of climate change. USDA Programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) provide incentives to upgrade existing anaerobic lagoons by installing covers and collecting methane for use or destruction; installing anaerobic methane digesters that collect methane for use or destruction; installing solid separators that reduce methane-producing slurries; providing conservation assistance for transitions to alternative manure management systems, such as deep pits, composting, transitions to pasture, or other practices that have a lower greenhouse gas profile; and supporting rice management that reduces methane emissions, such as alternate wetting and drying.
  • As a key part of its overall climate-smart agricultural strategy, the USDA is developing a partnership initiative that is seeking to establish new markets for agricultural commodities based on the climate benefits of agricultural products. The backbone of the initiative is the identification, confirmation, and tracking of climate-smart agricultural practices and their climate benefits—including practices that reduce methane emissions like prescribed grazing on rangeland, anerobic digesters, and enhanced efficiency or reduced fertilizer use.
  • Several USDA initiatives will support a methane innovation agenda, including:
       
    • The Agricultural Research Service’s formation of a Climate Change Center of Excellence, which will build an innovation pathway for methane-reducing and other climate-smart farming technologies by establishing standardized research methodologies
    • USDA’s Economic Research Service, which will examine the proportions of greenhouse gases emitted across the food system supply chain and assess the effectiveness of approaches to encourage the adoption of methane-reducing technologies and practices
    • The National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which will continue to invest in manure management and methane-related research, education, and extension projects, including offering competitively-funded grants on a wide range of topics such as innovative approaches to manure management, feed formulation or use of novel alternative feedstuffs, rumen microbiology, and managing emissions to the atmosphere and hydrosphere in various animal production systems.
  • From 2010 to 2020, USDA’s Rural Business Cooperative Service program supported $117 million in loans and grants to support methane-reducing anaerobic digester projects. In 2021, USDA increased its support for loans and grants for these purposes to $240 million.
  • In 2021, USDA also introduced a $10 million Environmental Quality Incentives Program: Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry pilot sign-up that specifically targets anaerobic digesters and select rice practices to reduce methane emissions. In 2022, this program will be scaled up nationwide to support additional methane reductions.
  • Since 1994, USDA and EPA have co-sponsored AgSTAR, a voluntary program partnering with state governments and industry to promote the use of anaerobic digestion systems and sustainable manure management practices to reduce methane emissions from livestock. In 2020 alone, AgSTAR helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5.27 MMTCO2e. AgSTAR also houses several agricultural biogas best practices resources and tools, such as the Biogas Toolkit, Anaerobic Digestion Project Development Handbook, Anaerobic Digestion Operator Guidebook, and Risk Analysis Checklist for Biogas Projects, and Anaerobic Digestion Screening Tool.

Coal

Global initiatives:

  • As part of its support of the Global Methane Initiative (GMI), EPA has worked globally since 2004 to facilitate capture and use of methane emissions resulting from coal mining. U.S. support has included preparation of over 50 publications, 50 trainings, and about 50 studies in 11 major coal-producing countries identifying specific mine locations for launching methane capture and use projects, working closely with China and India, two major coal producing countries.
  • The U.S. collaborated with GMI partners and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe to develop and publish a Best Practice Guidance for Methane Drainage in Coal Mines as well as on a forthcoming Best Practices Guidance for Measurement, Reporting, Verification, and Mitigation of Coal Mine Methane Emissions.
  • Through 2020, these EPA activities have avoided more than 290 MMTCO2e in methane emissions from the coal sector.

Voluntary initiatives:

  • Since 1994, EPA’s Coalbed Methane Outreach Program has offered tools and technical assistance to encourage mitigating methane emissions from coal mines, thereby improving safety, increasing recovery and use of methane, and reducing emissions. Through 2019, the program has cumulatively reduced and avoided 218 MMTCO2e in methane emissions.

Efficient cooling

Voluntary initiatives:

  • EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal Program recovers and recycles refrigerant-containing home appliances at the end of their life. By 2019, the program had collected 513,508 refrigerators, 64,956 freezers, and 17,967 air conditioning units. With its partners, the program had also achieved a reduction of 38.2 MMTCO2e.
  • EPA’s GreenChill partnership cooperates with food retailers to reduce refrigerant emissions, such as HFCs. By 2017, after ten years of operating, GreenChill had 41 partners and 11,257 certified stores, whose average emissions rate was just a 12.9%, compared to the industry average of 25%.

Heavy-duty vehicles

Global initiatives

  • EPA played a key role in scaling up CCAC’s Global Green Freight Action Plan, a program to reduce black carbon and greenhouse gases from heavy-duty vehicles and engines. EPA is sharing best practices and lessons learned through its Smart Way Program, an international model for reducing pollution from freight while increasing efficiency. SmartWay’s innovative technology verification and branding has accelerated availability, adoption, and market penetration of fuel-saving technologies and operational practices while helping companies save fuel, lower costs, and reduce adverse environmental impacts. EPA worked with CCAC to develop a manual in five languages for any region or country wanting to adopt SmartWay’s approach partnership development, technology verification, or branding.
  • The U.S. has served as a co-lead of the CCAC Heavy Duty Vehicles & Engines Initiative and the Soot-Free Urban Bus Fleets program. Through these initiatives, the U.S. has overseen and facilitated activities such as vehicle technology workshops, outreach, communication materials, and various trainings on vehicle and engine emissions and testing. 
  • The U.S. established the International Compliance Summit Network to share our expertise and experience in the compliance and enforcement of vehicle environmental standards. Membership consists of government representatives from the major automobile-producing countries and several large developing nations. At annual meetings, governments share information on the latest compliance practices and findings, which help government ensure that standards are achieving their expected environmental outcomes.

Household energy

Regulatory initiatives:

Oil and gas

Regulatory initiatives:

  • In November 2021, EPA will take a significant step to fight the climate crisis and protect public health through a proposed rule that would sharply reduce methane and other harmful air pollution from new and existing sources in the oil and natural gas industry. The proposal would expand and strengthen emissions reduction requirements for new, modified, and reconstructed oil and natural gas sources. The proposal would also create the first-ever requirement for states to reduce methane emissions from hundreds of thousands of existing sources.
  • In May 2016, EPA issued three final rules to curb emissions of methane, smog-forming volatile organic compounds, and toxic air pollutants such as benzene from new, reconstructed, and modified oil and gas sources.
  • In April 2012, EPA issued regulations required by the Clean Air Act to reduce harmful air pollution from the oil and natural gas industry, including the first federal air standards for fracked gas wells.

Voluntary initiatives:

  • In 2014, the CCAC launched the Oil & Gas Methane Partnership (OGMP) at the United Nations Secretary-General's Climate Summit, which was co-chaired by the Ministers from the U.S. and Switzerland. In 2020, CCAC overhauled the OGMP reporting framework and published OGMP 2.0, with the intent of creating a more comprehensive, gold standard reporting framework to foster greater understanding of methane emissions.
  • Since 2004, EPA has hosted more than 260 conferences, technical presentations, meetings, workshops, trainings, and site visits supporting methane mitigation in the oil and gas sector. EPA has also supported more than 70 measurement studies that identified leaks and mitigation measures at oil and gas facilities, 5 study tours, 7 reports on best practices, and several tools and models to help facilities reduce emissions. Together, these activities have led to reductions of more than 120 MMTCO2e from the oil and gas sector.
  • Since 1993, EPA’s Natural Gas STAR Program has partnered with operators in the oil and natural gas industry to facilitate the sharing of practices and technologies to reduce methane emissions. In 2016, EPA launched the Methane Challenge Program, which encourages oil and gas companies to make ambitious, quantifiable, and transparent goals to reduce their methane emissions. As of 2019, Partners in both programs have reported cumulative methane emissions reductions equivalent to over 800 MMTCO2e.

Waste

Global initiatives:

  • EPA provides tools, resources, and technical assistance to manage organic waste and foster biogas utilization across the municipal solid waste, wastewater, and agricultural sectors. Key resources include a Biogas Toolkit, including 34 tools, models, and best practices guides, as well as a Best Practices Handbook for Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) of Biogas projects to be launched as part of a Global Methane Initiative MRV Hub by the end of 2021. EPA’s municipal wastewater assistance is unique, given the small number of organizations focusing on methane at the nexus of water and energy.
  • In 2020, EPA published Best Practices for Solid Waste Management: A Guide for Decision-Makers in Developing Countries. The guide leverages EPA waste management experience and case studies from around the world to establish best practices that can be applied in developing countries.
  • Since 2013, the U.S. has helped grow and co-chair the CCAC’s Municipal Solid Waste Initiative. The U.S. has helped set up peer-to-peer city networks and, in 2017, developed the Solid Waste Emissions Estimation Tool (SWEET) to assist cities in developing a baseline of short-lived climate pollutant and air pollutant emissions, as well as assess alternative waste treatment options for reducing and monitoring emissions.

Regulatory initiatives:

  • In May 2021, EPA issued the final federal plan for existing municipal solid waste landfills, requiring the installation of a system to collect and control landfill gas for existing landfills that reach an emissions threshold of 34 metric tons of non-methane organic compounds per year.

Voluntary initiatives:
  

  • The Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) is a voluntary program working with industry leaders and waste officials to reduce methane emissions from landfills and encourage the use of biogas from municipal solid waste. In 2020 alone, LMOP has avoided approximately 33.8 MMTCO2e. Over the past 26 years, LMOP has assisted a total of 702 landfill gas energy projects, which have collectively reduced and avoided more than 581 MMTCO2e.

Related resources

2021 | Guidelines & Tools
, US Environmental Protection Agency

The Anaerobic Digestion (AD) Screening Tool was developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the auspices of the Global Methane Initiative and in support of the Climate and Clean...

This document presents the planned actions until 2022 under the Global Green Freight Action Plan.

Going forward, we will continue our work across all modes to align green freight programs...

Global Green Freight Action Plan: planned activities 2020-2022
2020 | Guidelines & Tools
, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the auspices of Global Methane Initiative (GMI), Natural Resources Canada Program for Energy Research and Development (PERD), Tetra Tech and Clearstone Engineering

This document presents introductory guidance on a pragmatic, integrated approach to identifying, evaluating, and advancing cost-effective, high-impact opportunities to manage greenhouse gas (GHG)...

2019 | Knowledge Platforms
, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Biogas Toolkit serves as a centralized knowledge hub for biogas project stakeholders. The toolkit is designed to allow stakeholders to search and...

The aim of the Heavy-Duty Diesel Initiative of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition is to virtually eliminate black carbon and fine particulate emissions from the on-road vehicle fleet by 2030. The...

2012 | Reports, Case Studies & Assessments
, US Environmental Protection Agency

This report synthesizes and assesses available scientific information on the current and future impacts of black carbon, and evaluates the effectiveness of available black carbon mitigation...

Report to Congress on Black Carbon

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