Daily Updates from the Climate and Clean Air Conference – Day 3

by CCAC Secretariat - 29 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.

Reflections from Martina Otto, Head of CCAC Secretariat, on the Climate and Clean Air Conference 2024:

At every Annual Meeting, we come together as CCAC partners and as a community to take our collective efforts on climate and clean air to the next level. Over the three days of the conference, the importance of the integrated approach to climate and clean air has clearly been shown. As we push ahead this year with action, it is crucial that we seize the opportunities ahead to address short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) with renewed vigour and determination. We held this edition right ahead of the UN Environment Assembly, and the CCAC is living proof of a multilateral approach to address the triple environmental crisis.

The recent launch of the CCAC Clean Air Flagship marks a significant milestone in our efforts to mobilize partnerships and combat air pollution. By capitalizing on win-win opportunities to reduce SLCP emissions and improve air quality, such as a Pan-African Clean Air Plan and the revitalisation of the BreatheLife campaign, we can make rapid progress in the years ahead. UNEA-6 negotiated a new Resolution to tackle air pollution through enhanced regional cooperation, and our Clean Air Flagship contains a number of workstreams that can help move quickly, with the Platform to gather experience and tools to address air pollution being one.

Methane remains a potent contributor to climate change, with significant implications for both air quality and global warming. It's imperative that we intensify our efforts to mitigate methane emissions, leveraging proven technologies and practices that offer cost-effective solutions.  

2024 presents a critical window to integrate SLCPs into the next round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). This integration must be specific and ambitious, driving tangible action to combat climate change and air pollution. We heard a call for dedicated support to this revision process – our regional workshops this year will provide an immediate opportunity.

The call for mobilising more financing for SLCPs has also come out clearly over our discussions at this Conference. With only a small fraction of development and climate funding currently allocated to air pollution and methane reduction, we must redirect more investment towards solutions that yield multiple benefits. We also have a unique opportunity to unlock funding under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement by prioritizing action on SLCPs.

With our enhanced cooperation with financial players – via our Finance Agenda and with the help of our High-level Advocate on Finance, but also with the new CCAC Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (CCAC-TEAP), which will tease out business models and finance needs for different contexts, to drive further investments in promising technologies and practices. For example, waste management is a crucial frontier in our battle against methane emissions, accounting for a substantial portion of anthropogenic methane output. The CCAC-TEAP has already identified first promising solutions in the waste sector such as the black soldier fly and biocovers, which offer accessible means to curb emissions and transition towards a circular economy.

Additional CCAC-TEAP work is to come in the agriculture sector, another major source of methane emissions that demands urgent attention if the world is to meet its climate targets. By implementing measures to improve animal health, increase productivity, and reduce emissions intensity, countries can not only mitigate methane but also enhance food security and sustainable agricultural practices.

Thank you for your continuous contributions as CCAC Partners to this important work. We celebrate the conclusion of this year’s Climate and Clean Air Conference 2024, and as we reach the end of UNEA-6 this week, we must, and can, continue to work together in our efforts to reduce SLCPs. You will find below the main points from the last day of the conference, with the full summary to be distributed shortly. 

Read the Press Release


Day 3: Opening Plenary



In the opening plenary, Mr. Mike Lurie, Senior Advisor, Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, U.S. Department of State, highlighted the resolve in this meeting, and the momentum of the movement on super pollutants: new countries continue to join the GMP; the first ever methane regulation in the fossil fuels sector in the EU; the Global Stock Take raising the bar for NDCs and highlighting the importance of including methane and other SLCP cuts in NDCs to keep 1.5 deg C alive. He called upon partners to use the tools and resolve in the room, to redouble our efforts and turn back the tide.



Ms. Mary Muthoni Morrison, Co-Founder and Coordinator of EcoEngage, and COP28 Youth Climate Delegate spoke next, focusing on how youth can engage with these efforts and the need for collaboration across sectors to work on climate and air pollution concurrently. Youth can bring new ideas solutions and unflinching resolve; she called on all to work together and be innovative, as efforts can only work if implemented in a coordinated manner.



The opening remarks were followed by a panel discussion on looking forward in the different CCAC sectors, moderated by Ms. Martina Otto, Head of CCAC Secretariat.

Panelists shared their varied experiences. Anje Schwetje (Germany) shared the German experience on waste, how we can stop methane generation and reduce methane generation in the sector over the long run, and how to stop “feeding the beast”, e.g. by preventing food waste and diverting organic waste from landfill. Bruno Brasil (Brazil) noted that sustainable agriculture must place farmers’ needs at the core of policy design to make them our main allies. Rob de Jong (UNEP) noted that the global north and south must go together in the shift to zero emissions mobility, and while we roll out e-mobility solutions, we also address older vehicles, with the spirit of shared responsibility. Benjamin Heras (Carbon Limits) spoke on decarbonisation of the carbon sector and the need to understand financing and access to mitigation in that sector. Makoto Kato (Japan) spoke on the continuing importance of work on and financing for cooling, touching on the ongoing work on the MOP, the Global Cooling Pledge at COP28, the work of the CCAC Cooling Hub and the relevance of carbon markets. Ed Brown (MECS) noted that clean cooking continues to be an important issue, highlighting the increasing recognition that financing is insufficient and that it also connects carbon and health issues.



Heavy-Duty Vehicles and Engines Hub Session

Part 1 of the session commenced with the launch of the UNEP Report titled "Used Heavy-Duty Vehicles and the Environment: A Global Overview of Used Heavy-Duty Vehicles: Flow, Scale, and Regulation". Rob de Jong from UNEP provided insights into the report's findings and highlighted the recommendations, which include promoting minimum quality standards (Euro 4), regional harmonization and incentivizing green technologies. The discussion after touched on managing the impacts of the transition, which nevertheless is important and needed.

A country roundtable discussion followed, featuring representatives from Morocco, Cambodia, Paraguay, and Uruguay who reflected on their countries' objectives regarding mitigating black carbon emissions from heavy-duty vehicles and engines. Key questions included the background of the HDVE market in their countries, barriers faced in regulating used vehicles, and how the CCAC could support their agendas. Morocco touched on the evolution of fuel standards over the years and other policies. Cambodia spoke on implementing emissions standards for vehicles, use of cleaner fuel, its clean air policy, and the challenges of enforcement. Paraguay noted the political, social, economic and environmental factors it considers in policy implementation, including unions and taxes. Uruguay described the push towards renewable energy as a factor, and their Euro 5 standards for new imported vehicles.

Governments have seen the need to move towards cleaner HDVs, linking it to renewable electricity. Some barriers are political, social and economic. Suggested additional support that could be provided by the CCAC included: more technical assistance and capacity building in implementing regulations and standards; need for data, capacity and more funding.

Part 2 focused on scaling up green freight programs in India and the Northern Corridor in Africa. Presenters discussed the environmental and economic implications of increasing CO2 emissions from the freight and logistics sector, particularly in India and the Northern Corridor.

Progress on the development of regional Green Freight Programs in South Asia and East Africa, as well as initiatives to reduce vehicle emissions, was shared. This included insights into the Smart Freight Shippers Alliance and the implementation of the Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC) Framework. Mehul Khandelwal, Smart Freight Centre presented on the new green freight program in India. Emmanuel Imaniranzi, Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Coordination Authority: Shared progress on green freight in the Northern Corridor.

The session concluded with a moderated panel discussion and audience Q&A, providing valuable insights into tools for capacity building and standardizing green freight practices.



Household Energy Hub Session

Part 1 focused on how to accelerate the switch from kerosene to alternative fuels. Heather Adair-Rohani from WHO presented the global status of kerosene use for cooking, lighting and heating and impacts on public health. In 2018, Ministers of Health, Energy and Environment from the LAC region came together to commit to eliminate kerosene still used by 75 million people in the region. This is “low hanging fruit” for eliminating an extremely potent source of black carbon to improve public health and reduce regional climate impacts.

James Knuckles from the World Bank then presented the ASCENT Program (Accelerating Sustainable and Clean Energy Access Transformation). ASCENT is a Multiphase Programmatic Approach out to 2030 with $5 billion IDA that covers 3 pillars of activities – 1. Regional and National Platforms to Accelerate Energy Access; 2. Expanding Grid Electrification; 3. Scaling Distributed Renewables and Clean Cooking Solutions (covering all clean fuels and technologies, electricity).

The presentations were followed by interventions by Fred Onyai from Uganda and Prudence Lihabi from Kenya who explained the barriers households face in switching from existing fuel and technology – in particular the high costs required initially to purchase new clean stoves. Participants agreed that lack of finance and lack of access are the key barriers for households. Participants then had a chance to connect in smaller groups to discuss these barriers and potential solutions in detail, and then shared back to the larger group.  

Part 2 focused on scaling up e-cooking. Sam Grant from CLASP presented “Accelerating Microgrid E-Cooking Through Business and Delivery Model Innovations”; Meredith Muthoni from BURN presented “Creating the market for e-cooking appliances; Geoffrey Kimiti from PowerPay presented “The potential of IOT in e-cooking"; and Lindsay Umalla, Clean Cooking Alliance presented “E-cooking through carbon finance: example from Nepal”.  These presentations underscored the growing movement to e-cooking, and highlighted the difference between private sector driving the change in Africa, and government driving the change in Nepal. An example was shared regarding Indonesia, which is switching from subsidizing LPG to e-cooking because subsidizing LPG is too expensive – countries in the room were encouraged to learn from the Indonesian example.  

Waste Hub Session

The session kicked off with an introduction by Donovan Storey from CCAC, highlighting key initiatives aimed at accelerating actions on methane and air quality. Among these initiatives is LOW-Methane, launched at COP28, which strengthens multi-level governance to address methane emissions. The session also focused on methane mitigation solutions utilizing organic waste, particularly highlighting Black Soldier Fly technologies. Additionally, advancements in data innovations, including satellite data, were discussed to support action. The session concluded with reflections on key priorities for the CCAC Waste Hub in 2024/2025.

The session on clean air and open burning of waste session explored the crucial link between waste management, air quality, and the harmful effects of open burning. Panelists examined persistent drivers of open burning and highlighted progress regarding commitments to eliminate open burning, particularly in Africa. Country and municipal experiences were showcased, focusing on practical measures to combat air pollution from waste. The sessions provided valuable insights and strategies to address methane emissions and air pollution from waste, emphasising the importance of collaborative efforts and practical solutions.



Closing Plenary

The closing plenary session, facilitated by Ms. Martina Otto, Head of the CCAC Secretariat, was a culmination of insightful discussions, featuring prominent voices from champion countries and organizations at the forefront of climate and clean air action.

Ms. Izabella Teixeira, former Minister of Environment from Brazil and currently UNEP-IRP Co-chair, set the tone with thought-provoking insights on super pollutants, and the importance of mobilising and increasing access to climate finance – crucial to our success in tackling climate and clean air issues. She spoke on the need to negotiate a new global ambition, which will need to have a new process and open conversation about targets; as well as the need for better understanding and coordination of responsibilities and innovation in our approaches to public health and the climate transition.



Panelists from Brazil, Chile, Ghana, Morocco, Nigeria, and Vietnam shared their countries' experiences and aspirations regarding the 2025 revision of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), as well as on the Global Methane Pledge and Clean Air Flagship. Led by Mr. Isaac Valero, Head of International Energy Relations, the discussion delved into the tangible benefits of integrated climate and clean air planning to their respective countries, which included: new perspectives on problem-solving; energy efficiency; reduced emissions of refrigerants; using international cooperation to leverage the work across ministries; resilience to climate change; efficiency of dealing with two issues together; helping to achieve NDC targets; technical support to move away from fossil fuels while achieving better air quality.

Panelists also noted the importance of good data and measurements; of collaboration and partnerships; of taking immediate action and fast implementation to move forward; and of tailoring solutions to specific regions.

Ms. Martina Otto, Head of CCAC Secretariat, concluded the session by highlighting the importance of the integrated approach over the past three days, data driving action, informing policies and reporting back on results, and the need to give ourselves the means to take action, including stepping up the capacity and technical support and making climate and clean air solutions part of the real economy. She called on partners to reach out to the Secretariat with their needs and what might be most helpful in the process. On key initiatives going forward, she noted the need to mobilise finance on SLCPs, the Clean Air Flagship (including components such as the African Clean Air Plan and BreatheLife) and the CCAC-TEAP.



See the photos from all three days here.

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