The United States is one of the six countries that came together, along with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in 2012 to form the Climate & Clean Air Coalition and initiate efforts to treat short-lived climate pollutants as an urgent and collective challenge.

CCAC Activities

Activity | Agriculture
Costa Rica | Ongoing
Costa Rica’s livestock sector is responsible for 28% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. In its Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) on Livestock, Costa Rica aims to scale up...
Dairy farm in Costa Rica
Activity | Agriculture
We must act now to reshape agriculture in ways that support farmers, improve productivity, build resilience, and reduce emissions. The goals of the Paris Agreement cannot be met without...
Activity | Waste
Ghana | Ongoing
As a member of the Coalition's Municipal Solid Waste Initiative city network, the city of Accra, Ghana has undertaken multiple initiatives to improve waste collection and separation practices,...
Workstream | SNAP
Regional cooperation is essential to raise ambition and scale up short-lived climate pollutant mitigation actions. Since 2012, the Coalition’s SNAP initiative has supported regional workshops that...

Other activities

Domestic activities

Actions to address particulate pollution: The U.S. EPA recently released a proposal that would strengthen the annual particulate pollution standard in the United States.  This new standard will protect American families from serious health effects like premature death and asthma attacks. 

In addition, between 2005 and 2030, U.S. particle pollution rules for new diesel engines will cut their black carbon emissions by 86%.  The U.S. EPA has also issued rules to reduce particulate matter from major industrial sources, including coke ovens, iron and steel manufacturing, non-ferrous smelting, and stationary diesel engines.

Oil and gas standards: In April 2012, U.S. EPA finalized air pollution standards for the oil and gas industry that would capture up to 95% of volatile organic compounds from new hydraulically fractured wells each year and in the process also reduce methane emissions.  These rules will also reduce VOCs, methane and hazardous air pollutants from certain other sources within this sector.  Oil and natural gas production and processing accounts for nearly 40% of all U.S. methane emissions, making the industry the nation’s single largest methane source.  EPA estimates that annual methane emissions will be reduced by 1.0 to 1.7 million short tons per year (about 19 to 33 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent). 

Other actions to reduce methane emissions: The U.S. EPA also has standards in place that limit the volatile organic compounds emitted from large landfills, which would also reduce  landfill methane emissions as a co-benefit.  In addition, the agency’s voluntary domestic programs continue to promote opportunities for industry to cost-effectively reduce methane emissions from landfills, oil and gas systems, coal mines, and agricultural waste.  For example, Natural Gas STAR provides detailed technical information about best practices for reducing methane emissions throughout the oil and natural gas sector.  The agency’s voluntary domestic methane outreach programs, combined with the existing landfill NSPS, have helped achieve significant methane reductions; in 2010 alone, these combined efforts  reduced methane emissions by 71.0 million metric tons CO2 equivalent.

Reducing HFCs: The U.S. is also taking action to phase down the use of high-global-warming-potential HFCs by finding environmentally-friendly alternatives to traditional ozone-depleting substances through the Significant New Alternatives Policy, or SNAP, program.  EPA reduced annual emissions by an estimated 160 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2010.  U.S. regulations ban intentional HFC releases during service and disposal of all refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment.  Further regulations require recovery and recycling of HFC-134a used as a coolant in motor vehicle air conditioners.

GreenChill is an EPA Partnership with food retailers to reduce refrigerant emissions and decrease their impact on both the ozone layer and climate change.  EPA estimates that through the GreenChill program, supermarkets have reduced annual GHG emissions from HFC refrigerants in 2010 by .3 million metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent and in 2020 GreenChill could reduce HFC emissions by 1.9 million metric tonnes CO2 equivalent.  The Responsible Appliance Disposal Program is reducing GHG emissions from refrigerant-containing home appliances that have reached their end of life by ensuring recovery and recycling of refrigerants and foam. EPA estimates that the annual emission reduction in 2010 from this effort for HFCs was 0.1 million metric tonnes CO2 equivalent.  In 2020, the program could help to save 0.4 million metric tonnes CO2 equivalent from HFC emissions with potential additional energy savings benefits as well.

International activities

The United States is also supporting SLCP efforts around the world, many of which the Climate and Clean Air Coalition will build on and scale-up.

Global Methane Initiative: The U.S. has committed more than $75 million to advance Global Methane Initiative projects in 24 countries.  Since 2005, these projects – led by the U.S. EPA – have helped reduce more than 150 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent emissions in key sectors including municipal solid waste, oil and gas systems, and coal mines.

Reducing Black Carbon Emissions Globally: The U.S. is working under the Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution and the Arctic Council Task Force on SLCPs to address emissions of black carbon and methane. The U.S. has also launched a $5 million Arctic Black Carbon Initiative. In addition, the U.S. commitment to clean cookstoves as a partner to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is valued at up to $114 million over the first five years of the Alliance.

Other CCAC actions: The CCAC’s HFC work is building upon an existing U.S. $3 million program in collaboration with UNDP and UNEP, which supports low global-warming-potential, energy-efficient technologies that can take the place of equipment that currently uses HFCs or ozone-depleting substances.  The United States, Canada, and Mexico have also proposed an amendment to the Montreal Protocol that would implement a comprehensive phase down in HFC consumption.

The Coalition’s diesel initiative is also building on the U.S. EPA’s Smart Way program, which has become a global model for increasing efficiency and reducing pollution from freight through a portfolio of readily available technologies and practices.

Related resources

This document presents the planned actions until 2022 under the Global Green Freight Action Plan.

Going forward, we will continue our work across all modes to align green freight programs...

Global Green Freight Action Plan: planned activities 2020-2022
2020 | Guidelines & Tools
, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the auspices of Global Methane Initiative (GMI), Natural Resources Canada Program for Energy Research and Development (PERD), Tetra Tech and Clearstone Engineering

This document presents introductory guidance on a pragmatic, integrated approach to identifying, evaluating, and advancing cost-effective, high-impact opportunities to manage greenhouse gas (GHG)...

2020 | Guidelines & Tools
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The Solid Waste Emissions Estimation Tool (SWEET) is an Excel-based tool that quantifies emissions of methane, black carbon, and other pollutants from sources in the municipal solid waste sector....

Solid Waste Emissions Estimation Tool (SWEET) version 3.0

The aim of the Heavy-Duty Diesel Initiative of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition is to virtually eliminate black carbon and fine particulate emissions from the on-road vehicle fleet by 2030. The...

2012 | Reports, Case Studies & Assessments
, US Environmental Protection Agency

This report synthesizes and assesses available scientific information on the current and future impacts of black carbon, and evaluates the effectiveness of available black carbon mitigation...

Report to Congress on Black Carbon


Office of Global Change, US Department of State, 2201 C Street N.W.
Washington D.C. 20520
United States
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