Colombia - National Planning on short-lived climate pollutants

The Ministry of Environment of Colombia has been supported by the Coalition's SNAP initiative since 2013, with the aim of developing a national strategy to mitigate short-lived climate pollutants.

Colombia has taken an ambitious and integrated approach to tackling climate change along with air pollution. In 2018, the National Strategy for the Mitigation of Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) was finalised, emphasizing the need to promote actions which will contribute to the reduction of SLCP emissions in the short- and medium-term. The document outlines a set of goals and actions to effectively plan and monitor SLCP emissions reductions, including the quantification of black carbon emissions, an assessment of the multiple benefits of SLCP mitigation strategies, the integration of SLCPs into climate change planning, and increasing action at sub-national level on integrated air pollution and climate change mitigation.

The SNAP initiative continues to support work in Colombia to include SLCPs in its NDC - in particular black carbon, as actions to reduce methane emissions were included in the first NDC - and to ensure that SLCP mitigation is considered as part of the implementation of Colombia’s first National Air Quality Strategy 2018-2020.


The SNAP Initiative has provided technical assistance and funding to support Colombia's national planning process on short-lived climate pollutants and the implementation resulting mitigation measures. The work has included:

  • Providing recommendations as to how SLCP can be integrated into Colombia’s NDC update
  • Training national stakeholders in the use of relevant tools to undertake GHG, SLCP and air pollution mitigation assessments
  • Providing relevant workshop and guidance materials for regional stakeholders on SLCP and how they can be considered in regional air quality planning

What we're doing

Phase I – National SLCP Planning – Complete

In 2013, the Ministry of Environment of Colombia expressed interest in participating in the first phase of the SNAP initiative of the CCAC to begin planning on SLCP mitigation. With the support of the International Union for Air Pollution Prevention and Environmental Protection Associations (IUAPPA) and the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), this process began with an initial stocktaking exercise to identify main emitting sectors relevant to SLCP mitigation using data from local, national, and international sources, and to account for any existing initiatives that may be transitioned to contribute to SLCP abatement.

As a result of this initial process, a planning document entitled the Strategic Framework for the Mitigation of Short-Lived Climate Pollutants was produced which included priority policies for SLCP mitigation as well as identified gaps where further mitigation measures were required. The plan also outlined the need to review existing sectoral objectives for SLCP reductions, define new goals based on recent analysis, identify priorities for additional action, and monitor the overall performance of these objectives through improved monitoring and reporting frameworks. Lead institutions were identified for each polluting sector to ensure emission inventories were updated in the future.

Phase II – National SLCP Planning and Institutional Strengthening – Complete

From 2016 to 2019, a second planning phase began with the objective to consolidate a national strategy for SLCP mitigation, alongside efforts to establish a national strategy on climate change. This began through the establishment of a national team with representatives from the Ozone Technical Unit (UTO), the Directorate for Climate Change and Risk Management, the Directorate for Environment, and other relevant institutions. This technical team reviewed policies, programs, projects and existing regulatory frameworks in order to develop a National SLCP Strategy. An emission inventory of black carbon was undertaken as part of the planning process, identifying for the first time the contribution of sources to black carbon emissions. This emission inventory will be updated every 2 years.

As a result of these efforts, the National Strategy for the Mitigation of Short-Lived Climate Pollutants was adopted in 2018. The broad objective of the document is to promote the development and implementation of actions to reduce SLCPs in Colombia in the medium and short term, as well as to develop a mechanism to evaluate their impact on air quality in tandem with climate change. To achieve this aim, the strategy outlines three sub-objectives. Firstly, the strategy seeks to adapt information management systems related to SLCPs to facilitate decision-making and coordination between institutions. This will include the integration of SLCPs into the Environmental Information System of Colombia (SIAC), and the completion of a national emission inventory for black carbon, methane, and other SLCPs. Secondly, Colombia will aim to adopt specialized tools to quantify the multiple benefits associated with SLCP mitigation measures, and in turn create synergies among different government programs and policies. Finally, Colombia will seek to strengthen institutional capacity among all relevant ministries to attain these objectives.

Phase III – Support for the implementation of the SLCP Strategy – Ongoing

Following the publication of the strategy, a workplan has been developed to continue the collaboration and support the integration of SLCP mitigation into national policies. The first objective is the inclusion of SLCPs within Colombia’s climate change commitment in its Nationally Determined Contribution, which is being updated in 2020. As part of this work, the SNAP initiative will support the process and undertake analysis for including SLCPs in the NDC (in particular black carbon, as actions to reduce methane emissions were included in the first NDC). The second objective is to ensure that SLCP mitigation is considered as part of the implementation of Colombia’s first National Air Quality Strategy 2018-2020. A national consultant and SEI will be providing support to the Ministry of Environment to implement the following activities:

  • Training of national stakeholders to undertake integrated GHG, SLCP and air pollutant analysis using the LEAP tool
  • Inclusion of SLCP and air pollutant emissions within GHG mitigation analysis developed for NDC revision
  • Development of technical documentation and support on inclusion of SLCPs within Colombia’s updated NDC
  • Development of guidance, training, workshop and other communication materials on short-lived climate pollutants and the link between air quality and climate change in support of the implementation of Colombia’s National Strategy on Air Pollutants