At the Climate and Clean Air Conference 2023, Nations Call for Action

by CCAC secretariat - 13 June, 2023
Nearly 400 representatives from 57 countries have called for increased cooperation and funding to tackle air pollution and climate change



In late May, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition held its annual meeting alongside UNEP’s Asia and the Pacific Office’s Air Quality Action Week for one massive conference, the Climate and Clean Air Conference 2023 (CCAC2023). Nearly 400 participants from 57 different countries joined sessions on all topics related to air pollution and climate change, ranging from CCAC Hub Meetings focused on mitigation in specific sectors to science primers on short-lived climate pollutants.  

The consensus was clear: we are running out of time. While the world has the tools and technologies to address climate change and air pollution, we are too slow. We already know that waiting to deal with short-lived climate pollutants means that people will die, food insecurity will worsen, and climate change will accelerate.  

“Global stock takes show us we are not on track. But we have the tools to address climate change and air pollution. This has never been a more critical time to act — and we must act now,” said CCAC Head of Secretariat Martina Otto

To get back on track towards a 1.5°C pathway, we need action from all stakeholders, from all regions, and from all sectors. Now, inaction is no longer an option. It is vital to foster cooperation at all levels – international, national, and local – with a focus on data collection, sharing best practices, and finding innovative solutions. It was particularly important that the CCAC held its annual meeting in Bangkok, since the Asia and the Pacific region finds itself at the forefront of climate challenges: 6 out of the 10 counties most affected by climate change are in the region. Air pollution – which does not recognize borders or boundaries – has become a common problem across the region, with 47 of the world’s 50 most polluted cities in Asia. 

At the CCAC2023, delegates from member states and international partners, from Asia-Pacific and beyond, shared efforts and developments towards climate change mitigation and air pollution reduction.  These included:

  • Mongolia – whose Minister of Environment and Tourism, H.E. Mr. Bat-Erdene Bat-Ulzii, opened the CCAC2023 – has ratified the Kigali Amendment and joined the Global Methane Pledge. In addition, the Regional Action Program on Air Pollution was initiated at the High-Level Forum on Clean Air in Ulaanbaatar in March. 


  • South Korea – whose Minister of Environment, H.E. Dr. Han Wha-jin, gave a video address to the CCAC2023 – has established a Comprehensive Plan for Air Quality Improvement and finalized the first Masterplan for carbon neutrality and green growth. 
  • Japan – whose Minister of Environment, H.E. Ms. Miki Yamada, gave a video address to CCAC2023 – has also joined the Global Methane Pledge and has been long been a supporter of projects to manage HFC life cycle in collaboration with the CCAC. 
  • The Asian Development Bank has allocated US$100 billion for climate finance in Asia-Pacific, and with the support of UNESCAP, has recently adopted a Regional Action program on air pollution. 
  • The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has put into place numerous programs to curb air pollution in the city, including curbing biomass burning, promoting public transport systems, enhancing vocational training, improving indoor air quality, and undertaking greening initiatives.  

Representatives from the Asian Development Bank, UNEP’s Asia and the Pacific Office, Mongolia, UN ESCAP, the CCAC Secretariat, and the CCAC Scientific Advisory Panel open the Climate and Clean Air Conference 2023.


The CCAC Board also met to approve a number of critically important projects, including:  

  • A pilot CCAC Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP), which will provide guidance and support to countries on which best available technologies exist for implementation of SLCP reductions in different contexts – focusing initially on methane.  
  • A new Integrated Agriculture and Food Systems Assessment that would highlight nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, and nitrogen pollution more generally, in an analysis of the multiple benefits and impacts of SLCP action within food and agricultural systems. 
  • A path forward for the CCAC Clean Air Flagship – a large-scale campaign to change the conversation and act on air quality – to be further developed based on the discussions in Bangkok and launched at the CCAC Ministerial at COP28 later this year. 
  • The CCAC Youth Strategy, a project to raise SLCP awareness within youth climate and clean air communities, in addition to strengthening youth engagement on SLCPs. This will include a pilot Youth Scientists Program.

Aisha Mohamed Abdullah Al Abdooli, Director of Green Development & Environment Affairs Department at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, United Arab Emirates, participates in the CCAC Board Meeting at the Climate and Clean Air Conference 2023.

New science was also presented at the CCAC2023, proving unequivocally the urgent need to fight against short-lived climate pollutants. This included a preview of a forthcoming CCAC assessment on integrated action on air pollution and climate change in the ASEAN region.  Scientists from the CCAC Scientific Advisory Panel presented on critical topics including the link between increasing aerosol levels and rising temperatures, which in turn contribute to heatwave-related deaths, and on solutions and pathways to implementation of those solutions.  


Crucially, dozens of participants highlighted the need to dramatically increase funding. Most of the technical solutions we have for tackling SLCPs can be deployed at low or negative cost – and for example, considering all the costly, negative side effects methane emissions wreak on human and planetary health, virtually every methane control would pay for itself. To date not enough governments have jumped on the methane bandwagon – in domestic or international action, and many overseas development agencies could help achieve their own goals on development, health, and more by funding methane mitigation projects. 

Participants may have come from 57 different countries, but their communal voice was clear in Bangkok: there is no time to lose. Let’s act on short-lived climate pollutants before it’s too late.