Mongolia - National Planning on short-lived climate pollutants

Mongolia is one of over 20 countries receiving support on SLCPs and integrated air pollution and climate change planning as part of the Coalition’s SNAP initiative. The support provided has included more accurate estimations of greenhouse gas emissions and SLCPs, as well as an analysis of mitigation options and contributions to a revised Nationally Determined Contribution.

The landlocked country of Mongolia is increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, including increasing temperatures, and changing rain patterns. At the same time, the population of over 3 million people is at risk to air pollution levels which exceed World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, particularly those living in urban areas. In 2017, air pollution in the country’s capital city of Ulaanbaatar was found to be 7.5 times higher than the safe limit, leading the National Security Council of Mongolia to declare that air pollution had reached disaster levels, derived sources including the household energy, transportation, coal, and wastes sectors. These conditions are expected to worsen with projected population and economic growth. 

Despite their small contribution to global emissions, Mongolia is taking ambitious action to address these two challenges simultaneously in view of their development imperatives. In 2019, the Government of Mongolia approved its revised Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) which committed to reducing GHG emissions by 22.7% in 2030 compared to a business as usual scenario. This commitment is expected to lead to reduction of key air pollutants and short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) including black carbon emissions by 12% and methane by 23%. The Ministry of Environment and Tourism continues to work with the SNAP initiative to develop integrated GHG, SLCP and air pollution inventories to generate scenarios for national mitigation measures.


The objectives of the support provided by the SNAP Initiative was to provide technical assistance and funding for the Mongolia to undertake a national planning process on short-lived climate pollutants, and implement resulting mitigation measures, specifically: 

  • Strengthen coordination and action on short-lived climate pollutants 
  • Identify major emission sources, their likely evolution and mitigation potential 
  • Assess the co-benefits of action 
  • Prioritise the most relevant measures at national scale 
  • Identify ways to promote and implement these mitigation measures 
  • Incorporate short-lived climate pollutants into existing plans and activities where they are not currently considered 
  • Support the implementation of priority measures and track progress

What we're doing

Phase I – National SLCP Planning 

In 2018, the Climate Change and International Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism of Mongolia expressed interest in taking part of the SNAP initiative to strengthen technical and human capacity to take action on SLCPs. As a result, a project was developed in 2019 with the objective to make more accurate estimations of greenhouse gas emissions and SLCPs, as well as to analyse mitigation options and contribute to a revised Nationally Determined Contribution. This project was launched at a national workshop in Ulaanbaatar in June 2019, and presented to relevant stakeholders. 

LEAP-IBC workshop in Mongolia

To begin the project, three national consultants were recruited to use the LEAP tool to conduct integrated GHG, SLCP and air pollution analysis, providing the technical capacity necessary for analysing mitigation options. Mitigation scenarios were developed for each of the measures within the revised NDC, as were evaluations of GHG emission reductions and co-benefits for reducing SLCP and air pollutant emissions. Through this work, it was estimated that full implementation of measures within the revised NDC would reduce GHG emissions by 22.7% by 2030 compared to a business as usual scenario, while also reducing key air pollutants and short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) including black carbon emissions by 12% and methane by 23%. These findings were presented at a workshop in November of 2019, coinciding with Mongolia’s second NDC Forum at which the NDC was presented. 

As a result of the analysis undertaken, a report was developed reflecting the findings of LEAP-IBC analysis in January of 2020 which was entitled, “Opportunities from Taking Integrated Actions on Air Pollution and Climate Change in Mongolia.” Mongolia continues to work with SEI and the SNAP Initiative of the CCAC Secretariat to build internal capacity within the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to integrate SLCPs into climate change mitigation assessments. The following activities are being pursued: 

  • Define linkage to other climate change planning processes and projects 
  • Review existing analysis for GHG inventory and NDC mitigation assessment 
  • Develop long-term projection for key source sectors in Mongolia for reference and mitigation scenario 
  • Develop cost-benefit assessment for key GHG and air pollution emission reductions 
  • Capacity Building workshops for MET and other key stakeholders 
  • Reporting and dissemination of results

NDC Partnership Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP)

From 2020-2021, the CCAC implemented activities as part of the NDC Partnership Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP) work in Mongolia:

  • A462: GHG mitigation analysis for the economic sectors not included in INDC of Mongolia such as transport, construction, industry, waste sectors 
  • A463: Analysis for including HFCs (refrigerant gases) in NDC update and assessment of HFC mitigation potentials

Following further discussions with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) and given that the revised NDC of Mongolia’s has already been approved by the government prior to the start of the project, the focus of was to assess how the analysis of emissions and mitigation options in key source sectors can be improved,  to build capacity of national institutions, particularly the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) to develop and sustain these analyses, iii) to feed results from the project in documents related to NDC implementation (e.g. sectoral implementation plans, long-term strategies, etc.), and iv) strengthening the link between air pollution and climate change mitigation, highlighting the local benefits that can be achieved through the implementation of Mongolia’s NDC.

The main outcomes of this project were:

  • Assessment of the current methods and tools used to estimate GHG emissions in the national GHG inventory and development of projections as part of the NDC, with recommendations on how these can be improved
  • Improved analysis of GHG and air pollutant emissions using the LEAP-IBC tool for selected sectors, including projections extending to 2050 (from current 2030-time horizon)
  • Capacity built within MET, the Environment and Climate Fund and other key government entities in 3 sectors to undertake assessment of GHG and air pollutant mitigation potential of different plans, policies and strategies, and to apply this capacity in climate change planning processes.
  • Documentation of results from the use of LEAP-IBC tool that can be used and integrated into climate change planning (e.g. NDC Action Plan, 2050 Long-term Development Plan) and reporting (e.g. National Communication, Biennial Update Reports, GHG inventory, MRV framework) frameworks.

The activities were implemented by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) together with the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) in close coordination with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition Secretariat, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism of Mongolia.