Ministers push for increased climate ambition at special New York roundtable

by CCAC secretariat - 27 September, 2018
Countries and organisations endorse the Coalition's Talanoa Statement at meeting

On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, a group of Ministers and representatives from 12 countries and seven organizations, gathered in New York to discuss their vision for ambitious action to reach the Paris Agreement temperature goals.

Over a breakfast hosted by Ola Elvestuen, Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment, the ministers affirmed their willingness to implement necessary actions that simultaneously deliver temperature reductions in line with the Paris Agreement goals – as well as quick wins for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly by tackling air pollution and climate together.

Hon. Ola Elvestuen, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway

Minister Elvestuen encouraged countries to sign onto the Climate and Clean Air Coalition’s Talanoa Statement, which he helped launch just over a week ago at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.

The Statement calls for urgent action to avoid dangerous climate risks and increase the ability for communities and ecosystems to adapt to changes. It calls on countries to rapidly reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (methane, HFCs and black carbon) to supplement and enhance scaled-up actions to mitigate carbon dioxide (CO2). By doing this the world can avoid up to 0.6˚C of warming by 2050, and slow the rate of warming, significantly decreasing the chance of triggering dangerous climate tipping points.

"Without action on short-lived climate pollutants like methane and black carbon, we have very little chance to reach goals of the Paris Agreement," Mr. Elvestuen said. “These super pollutants are the ‘low hanging fruit’ in the fight against climate change. The technology exists to achieve these reductions, and by doing so we can solve air pollution and climate change together.”

Key messages from the meeting include: 

  • Without action on short-lived climate pollutants there is little chance to reach the Paris Agreement goals. Short-lived climate pollutants are the ‘low hanging fruit’ in the fight against climate change. The technology exists to achieve reductions, and reducing these pollutants can help solve air pollution and climate change together.
  • Fast action is desperately needed. The sooner we do it the better. The technology is there. Nothing is impossible. We shouldn’t shy away from raising our ambition.
  • By reducing short-lived climate pollutants half degree of warming could be avoided in the near-term, and it could be more.
  • A powerful link exists between air quality and climate change that has the potential to trigger much more ambitious action. We have seen this in many countries, and in the next revisions there is an opportunity to better integrate Nationally Determined Contributions with core development challenges.
  • Urgent action is about survival. The most vulnerable countries are already feeling the impact of climate change and for many it is an existential threat. No government can do this alone, each one needs to take responsibility and commit to the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
  • Methane has to be part of the strategy. If solutions can be found, for example on livestock methane, it will be game changing for the rest of the world.

After the event, Ministers and organisations tweeted their support for the Coalition's Talanoa Statement and for raising climate ambition.