Latin American Countries Plan Together To Mitigate SLCPs

by CCAC secretariat - 27 May, 2023
Regional cooperation helps upscale action against cross-boundary pollutants.

In late April 2023, 13 Latin American states attended a CCAC-supported workshop in Bogota, Colombia to jointly develop project profiles addressing their shared climate change and air pollution priorities by taking action on short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs). The event was another promising sign of increasing regional cooperation on SLCP mitigation and came shortly after a high-level ministerial meeting on reducing methane in the agriculture sector in Chile.   

The workshop was attended by Mexico, Honduras, Panama, The Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Colombia, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile and Peru. The workshop was co-organized in a collaboration with Environmental Defense Fund, United Nations Environment Programme and the CCAC.  

The primary purpose of the workshop was to identify potential projects that could be funded, and to share best practices in terms of communications and stakeholder engagement. Fifteen projects were identified, covering shared challenges such as reducing the black carbon emissions from wildfires and agricultural burning; national planning to reduce methane; remote observation and atmospheric monitoring for emissions inventories; low emissions technology to reduce methane in livestock; energy efficiency and heating in housing; and regional transport emissions standards, among others. 

 

Regional efforts to combat black carbon are important in combatting black carbon, given its effects are often concentrated in localised areas. Black carbon circulating in local air and deposited on nearby plants directly affects agriculture and ecosystems by blocking sunlight and raising surface temperatures, and human health by causing chronic and acute respiratory illnesses. Household energy and agricultural burning are together responsible for over 50% of black carbon emissions.  

“If we are able to join forces in the region, we can reach positive results in a much shorter timeframe than with our individual efforts,” said Armando Retama, an Independent Air Quality Monitoring Expert based in Mexico.  

In addition to technical responses to SLCPs, mobilisation and awareness were also highlighted as common priorities. Participants emphasised that all countries needed to work together to scale finance to support their efforts. They also reflected that public perceptions of the perceptions and awareness of the challenges of SCLPs were important for raising political support for action on clean air and climate change from national governments.  

“This workshop is very important as this topic has not had much visibility, and although we are all different countries, we have shared challenges. At the regional level there is lots of interest, lots of capacity and we have seen good ideas emerge,” said Maria Del Mar Solano, from Costa Rica’s Directorate of Environmental Quality Management, Ministry of Environment and Energy.  

Most Latin American countries have received CCAC support on developing national plans for addressing SLCP pollution and are thus ready to move to implementing mitigation projects. National planning is important for designing efficient and effective SLCP reduction actions which are based on real data and do not disrupt livelihoods or food security.  

Following the workshop, projects with high potential will be assessed for their feasibility and funding potential. The workshop and identification of projects came at an important time and provided preparatory step for the CCAC’s 2023 Annual Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand. The annual meeting is a formal opportunity for the CCAC to identify regional opportunities and potential larger scale projects. 

 

“It is important to address these issues from a regional perspective because this is a highly diverse region where we have a high chance of achieving success in combatting both climate change and air pollution simultaneously,” said Sergio Sanchez, Senior Policy Director for the Environmental Defense Fund. 

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