Policies, Plans & Regulations

Strategy on Short-lived Climate Pollutants - 2017


Canadians are experiencing the effects of climate change across the country, particularly in the climatesensitive North. At the same time, exposure to air pollution is negatively affecting the health of Canadians and degrading the environment. Canada is taking action on climate change through the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change (the Pan-Canadian Framework). This Framework is Canada’s plan to grow the economy while reducing emissions and building resilience to adapt to a changing climate. It was developed in partnership with provinces and territories, and in close consultation with Indigenous Peoples. Canada is also committed to advancing measures that lead to cleaner air and healthier communities, in partnership with provinces and territories.

Short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) are potent greenhouse gases (GHGs) and air pollutants. They have relatively short atmospheric lifetimes compared to longer-lived GHGs such as carbon dioxide (CO2 ), and have a warming impact on climate. As such, reducing SLCPs can help achieve our climate and air quality objectives. SLCPs include methane and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), black carbon, which is a component of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), and ground-level ozone.

Recent studies indicate that global action on carbon dioxide and SLCPs together is needed to keep average global temperatures to no more than 1.5 to 2°C above pre-industrial levels this century, and to meet the temperature goals in the Paris Agreement. Reducing SLCP emissions can also result in significant air quality benefits. Implementation of black carbon, methane and ozone measures has the potential to reduce global warming in 2050 by approximately 0.5°C and by approximately 0.7°C in the Arctic by 2040, prevent more than two million premature deaths worldwide each year, and avoid global crop losses of more than 30 million tonnes annually by 20301 . 

Air quality benefits would be felt mainly within the countries where measures are implemented. Consequently, SLCP mitigation has garnered significant attention in Canada and internationally. 

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