Daily Updates from the Climate and Clean Air Conference – Day 1

by CCAC Secretariat - 27 February, 2024
The Climate and Clean Air Conference 2024 brought together the CCAC's 86 State Partners and 83 Non-State Partners to discuss the latest science and policy, share best practices, and develop a shared agenda in key emitting sectors like agriculture, waste, fossil fuels, household energy, heavy-duty vehicles and engines, and cooling.

Day 1 of Climate and Clean Air Conference 2024 emphasised the opportunities that come with adopting a holistic approach for climate and clean air action. In light of recently released research on the likelihood of hitting 1.5 degree warming within the next five years, representatives of state and non-state partners called for bolder action on mitigating Short-lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs).  

Making the economic case will help with accelerating action, speaking to priorities of different constituencies. In each sector, we have economically viable options that need to be rolled out at scale.  

Discussions highlighted: 

  • The need to integrate both quantitative and qualitative dimensions into mitigation strategies, ensuring comprehensive action that addresses economic opportunities, health impacts, gender equity, and sustainable development.
  • That national planning processes are a crucial aspect of SLCP mitigation efforts. Representatives from various countries shared experiences and insights into accurately assessing sectoral contributions to SLCP emissions and implementing effective mitigation measures. This underscored the importance of investing in capacity building and supporting governments in developing robust national plans.
  • The role of advocacy in mobilising action by key stakeholders. 


Today we kicked off the first day of the Climate and Clean Air Conference 2024 in the vibrant UN Environment Programme headquarters in Nairobi, where negotiations preceding UNEA-6 were in full swing.  

The discussions on the first day of the conference were centred on the theme Economic opportunities and the cost of inaction. 


At the opening of the Conference, the urgency of addressing the triple threat of climate change, biodiversity loss, and air pollution through mitigating short-lived climate pollutants was highlighted.  

Ms. Inger Andersen, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme noted that this meeting taking place in Nairobi was a coming home, as the first assessment on black carbon and tropospheric ozone launched 13 years ago led to six countries coming together to found the CCAC, with a clear vision of creating cleaner air for everyone. Superpollutants are important because of the powrful potency that they hold and impact millions of lives. Taking action can bring down both climate and health costs and are a key to solve the triple planetary crisis. She noted that we need to push harder and faster on superpollutants: “Just as you need a superhero to defeat a supervillain, we need super solutions to face down super pollutants. And we need you to mastermind these solutions.” 



Mr. Peter Dery, Director responsible for the Environment Division at the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ghana and CCAC Co-Chair, noted the importance of advancing ideas and plans for a CCAC Africa Clean Air Programme, as called for in the CCAC Africa regional assessment launched 1.5 years ago. Africa can lead the way to take an integrated approach via a programme by the end of this year that will contribute to real action on the ground, and across the continent. He noted that funding will be critical, and appealed once more to generous funders to upscale their support to the CCAC and called on others to also come on board. 


Mr. Ibrahim Auma, County Minister for Green Nairobi spoke on behalf of H.E. Sakaja Johnson, Governor of Nairobi, noting the importance of education as a key to fostering awareness, as this will also ensure continued collaboration in accelerating climate action at the local, national and global platforms. No single entity can solve the climate crisis on their own. 


Ms. Elizabeth Wathuti of the Green Generation Initiative highlighted that our commitment to air quality and climate change is a fight for our existence and life, and that youth are most affected by climate change issues, with their development being impacted. She reflected on the importance of nature-based solutions, and urged participants to reflect on their own clean air action. 


Ms. Martina Otto, Head of the CCAC Secretariat, reflected on the CCAC's achievements in 2023. She thanked the partnership and noted that we are where we are thanks to collective effort, highlighting some key examples of CCAC-funded successes in Kenya, Nigeria and Pakistan. Moving forward, we will continue to work towards our goal, including work on the Methane Roadmaps, supporting countries on the NDC updates and COP29 as the Finance COP, with more to come. To maintain support to countries, she noted that that further investment is needed to the CCAC Trust Fund. 


Ms. Kimber Scavo, U.S. State Department, spoke on the upcoming UNEA resolution, noting the importance of increasing regional cooperation and sharing information so that governments will have the resources and information to build up air quality management systems, and elevating the need for this. 

At the following panel on economic opportunities from mitigating short-lived climate pollutants across sectors, as Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) embarks on its assessment, it is becoming evident that quantitative models might not capture all crucial aspects, prompting a need for qualitative assessment. This session served as an opportunity to delve into these additional dimensions that models may overlook. 

Dr. Drew Shindell, Chair of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition Scientific Advisory Panel, provided an overview of the CCAC Economic Assessment and Cost of Inaction, noting that there has been much discussion on the cost of action, but not on the cost of inaction. The aim of the report is to build a new methodology allowing economic assessments to account for climate and clean air impacts, look at the impacts of economic damages, and how that will affect long term economic growth.  
The panel discussion aimed to highlight qualitative aspects related to health, gender equity, sustainable development, food security, technology, innovation, and private sector engagement in SLCP mitigation efforts. 

Panelists were asked how their respective communities or stakeholders engaged with SLCP mitigation topics and which messages resonated most effectively. Discussions focused on identifying areas where the CCAC could enhance engagement with various stakeholders and how to tailor messages for maximum impact. 

Each panelist shared their community's definition of the costs of inaction regarding SLCP mitigation. Key points included: 

  • From the private sector perspective, partnerships with experts, governments, and other stakeholders is the way forward and it is already working; 
  • The importance of health professionals, ministries and the health sector on communicating mutually and having a shared understanding on the effects of SLCPs on health; 
  • The importance of supporting smallholders’ transitions to low emissions systems; 
  • The importance of collaboration as the core in innovation and in making this transition happen; 
  • The importance of pertinent messaging and awareness raising towards different communities and stakeholders represented, as well as the importance of food banks to close gaps between food waste and need; 
  • The need to continue working on the Kigali Amendment together with the Ozone Secretariat; 
  • Participants explored ways in which the CCAC could better account for these costs in its assessments and strategies.  

    The session provided valuable insights into qualitative dimensions of SLCP mitigation, offering perspectives from diverse stakeholders. It underscored the importance of holistic approaches that integrated both quantitative and qualitative assessments to effectively address the challenges posed by SLCPs and advance global sustainability goals. 

    Science Policy Dialogue: Science to action through National SLCP Plans 

    In this session, we delved into the critical importance of national planning processes in addressing Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs). Representatives from Kenya, Thailand, and the Central American Integration System (SICA) shared their experiences, highlighting the value of accurately assessing development sectors' contributions to a country's SLCP profile. We discussed opportunities and barriers in implementing mitigation measures identified in national/regional plans. 

    Science Policy Dialogue: Demystifying methane and N2O mitigation in the agriculture sector 

    The session provided an insightful overview of agricultural emissions of methane and N2O. Discussions covered nitrogen and methane pollution from agriculture, emphasizing science-driven sustainable agricultural practices. Participants engaged in dialogue to address key gaps and barriers, aiming to provide evidence for effective mitigation strategies in the sector. 

    Science Policy Dialogue: Strategies for Fast-tracking Clean Air Action 

    This roundtable discussion focused on the Clean Air Catalyst's approach to scaling up city-level action to reduce air pollution in Nairobi and other cities. Improving monitoring and data collection were highlighted as critical steps in addressing air quality challenges. The imperative to achieve meaningful reductions quickly necessitates action even before the installation of equipment, emphasizing the importance of science and engagement activities. 

    NGO partners convened to collaborate and coordinate efforts in addressing environmental challenges. The focus was on objectives and milestones for 2024, along with discussions on the CCAC Clean Air Flagship and The Year of Clean Air.  

    National consultants engaged in an interactive exchange on the Methane Roadmap Action Programme. The meeting focused on their roles and priorities for the upcoming year. The objective was to align efforts and maximize impact in addressing methane emissions. 

    Science Policy Dialogue: Black Carbon 

    The session aimed to provide participants with an overview of current scientific knowledge on Black Carbon (BC), including updates between AR5 and AR6. Following the presentation, a dialogue ensued to discuss potential venues and opportunities for black carbon advocacy in 2024 and 2025. 

    More details will follow in the full summary of the Annual Meeting that will follow in the coming days. 

    Click here for photos from day 1. 

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