Integrated Assessment of Short-lived Climate Pollutants in Latin America and the Caribbean

The Integrated Assessment of Short-lived Climate Pollutants in Latin America and the Caribbean brought together scientific and policy experts from across the Latin America and the Caribbean region to look at the various aspects of short-lived climate pollutant issues and mitigation opportunities across the region. The Assessment sought to support and foster the political momentum created by the 14 March 2014, adoption of a Regional Plan of Action for Atmospheric Pollutants at the 19th Meeting of the Forum of Ministers of Environment for Latin America and the Caribbean in Los Cabos, Mexico. 

The Assessment was chaired by renowned scientists Paulo Artaxo from the University of São Paulo and Graciela Raga from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and brought together more than 90 experts from the region. 

The assessment

Completed in 2018, the Integrated Assessment of Short-Lived Climate Pollutants in Latin America and the Caribbean included a full report, Summary for Decision Makers and a companion technical report, which reviews examples of initiatives and measures that have successfully reduced emissions of these pollutants in the region. 

The assessment found that poor air quality and climate change are already affecting vulnerable populations and the environment in the region, resulting in premature deaths, crop yield losses, and ecosystem damage. Implementing 16 short-lived climate pollutant emission reduction measures by 2050 would reduce warming in the region by up to 0.9 degrees Celsius, reduce premature deaths from fine particulate matter pollution by at least 26%, and ozone by 40% annually, and avoid the loss of 3–4 million tonnes of four staple crops – soybeans, maize, wheat, and rice – each year. 

Key messages include: 

  • Poor air quality and global warming have already affected vulnerable populations and ecosystems in Latin America and the Caribbean, resulting in premature deaths, crop yield losses and damage to ecosystems. 
  • Agriculture, mobile and commercial refrigeration, and transport are the sectors that produce the largest emissions of methane, HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) and black carbon. 
  • Without any action to reduce missions, the influence of the region's emissions on climate, human health and agriculture will increase significantly by 2050. 
  • A number of short-lived climate pollutant measures have been identified that, by 2050, have the potential to reduce warming in the region by up to 0.9 degrees Celsius, premature mortality from PM2.5 by at least 26 per cent annually, and avoid the loss of 3–4 million tonnes of four staple crops each year. 
  • Efforts and experience on reducing some short-lived climate pollutants are already in place across the region and could be scaled up if identified barriers were overcome. 


  • Ministers of Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean issued a decision – the Cartagena Pledge – noting that reducing air pollution goes hand in hand with reducing both short-lived and long-lived climate pollutants and can support the achievement of climate mitigation and adaptation goals and commitments. It decided to make strategic use of information from the assessment and encourage action to address air quality and climate change. 
  • CCAC Scentific Advisory Panel member Dr. Graciela Binimelis de Raga presented the conclusions of the assessment at the XVI General Assembly of the Parliamentary Confederation of the Americas. As a result, Ministers ratified a Declaration on Short-lived Climate Pollutants

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