Ministers Unite for Immediate Action on Climate and Clean Air, Urging Bold Financing and Swift Measures on Non-CO2 Super Pollutant Greenhouse Gases

by Climate and Clean Air Coalition - 9 December, 2023
As CCAC High-level Advocate for Finance Rachel Kyte, who moderated the session, said in her closing: “It's 2023. With peak oil, peak coal, and peak emissions, we are also ‘peak-pledge’.” This Coalition has proven to turn ambition into action, it set out as the Coalition of the Working.

Dubai, 08 December 2023 – Today marks a pivotal moment in the global fight against climate change: superpollutants have received unprecedented attention as the fastest and cheapest way to reduce global warming in the near-term, as an essential measure alongside decarbonising our economies, to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Over one hundred ministers, heads of agencies and non-state partners came together in the Climate and Clean Air Ministerial to unveil groundbreaking initiatives, commitments and a call to action during the 28th Conference of Parties of the UNFCCC (COP28).  

The 2023 Ministerial was focused on financing for short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs). State partners showed up, making new commitments to climate and clean air and calling for further action and support. COP28 saw remarkable financial pledges to the methane agenda, facilitated through a Methane Finance Sprint with 1 billion USD mobilized to support methane abatement.  International financial institutions and development agencies also kick-started efforts to examine the methane content of their own portfolios and open up dedicated windows for support. These efforts seek to address the gap that less than 2% of global climate finance is dedicated to methane, and 1% of development assistance targets air pollution.  

Developing country partners highlighted the catalytic nature of CCAC support received and the incredible value of the partnership in driving the SLCP agenda forward, matchmaking, and advancing toward implementation. It was highlighted that to achieve the goals of the CCAC 2030 Strategy, at least 100 million USD is needed in contributions to the CCAC Trust Fund.  

The CCAC launched the Clean Air Flagship 2024-2026. Countries and organizations made urgent calls for global air quality enhancement and cryosphere protection, especially through the mitigation of black carbon sectors like transportation. Ministers noted the need to enhance equity and climate justice to support disproportionately impacted vulnerable regions and improve the health and economic empowerment of women disproportionately impacted by air pollution. Ministers also called for increased efforts to support highly vulnerable Small-Island Developing States (SIDS), especially in the context of rapid mitigation of methane and black carbon to slow sea level rise and increasing frequency and intensity of climate-exacerbated weather events.  

Noting the transformation of last year’s ‘methane moment’ into a ‘methane movement’ where this powerful climate and air pollutant has taken centre-stage at COP28, delegates highlighted the integral role of CCAC in the conception of the Global Methane Pledge (GMP) and appreciated that CCAC will now provide secretariat services for the GMP. Ministers announced the pilot work of the CCAC-Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP), which highlights context-specific, practical mitigation measures with the aim of closing the finance gap. Ministers welcomed the LOW-Methane Initiative that will be supported by a coordination group housed within the UNEP-convened Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC). Countries welcomed collaboration with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank to catalyze enhanced and more accessible financial and technical support to developing countries. In particular, this collaboration focuses on projects to methanize NDCs and the provision of institutional backing for all Global Methane Pledge (GMP) countries, aligning with the World Bank Global Methane Reduction Platform for Development (CH4D).  

The Coalition also announced the initiation of a landmark assessment on nitrous oxide (N2O) to be delivered in advance of COP29, which will expose impacts of the often-overlooked greenhouse gas. This proactive approach aims to ensure that no opportunities are missed in the pursuit of a 1.5 degrees Celsius future. A global assessment on the cost of inaction on short-lived climate pollutants and an assessment on the integrated agriculture and food systems will be prepared in advance of COP30.

Civil society and youth representatives called for binding commitments beyond promises, enhanced environmental justice, and meaningful engagement. They further emphasized the important responsibility of the wealthiest countries to invest in climate action. Research institutions stressed the importance of moving beyond pledges to tangible actions.  

Attention was drawn to the decision of the 35th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer regarding the dumping of obsolete cooling appliances containing ODS in developing countries.  The role of CCAC as a key part of the implementation of the Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol was highlighted.

As CCAC High-level Advocate for Finance Rachel Kyte, who moderated the session, said in her closing: “It's 2023. With peak oil, peak coal, and peak emissions, we are also ‘peak-pledge’.” This Coalition has proven to turn ambition into action, it set out as the Coalition of the Working.