Commitments Made to Reduce Black Carbon, Methane and Hydrofluorocarbons

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Cutting Short-Lived Climate Pollutants Critical to Success of Global Climate Response

Paris -- Governments and industry leaders in the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) today committed to further essential advances in reducing short-lived climate pollutants (SLCP) that have a global warming potential many times that of the main greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.

The SLCP Focus Day brought together some 30 Ministers and CEOs highlighting the importance and urgency of acting on the issue, demonstrating political will to address SLCPs and making concrete commitments in the following areas:

  • The Global Food Cold Chain Council committed to reduce the use and emissions of high global warming potential hydrofluorocarbons, enhance energy efficiency, and reduce food loss in the food cold chain.
  • The Global Refrigerant Management In6itiative committed to achieve a 30-50 percent reduction in hydrofluorocarbons emissions from refrigerant servicing within 10 years.
  • Global Green Freight Action Plan: supporters of this commitment to green freight will deepen their engagement, and pledge to double the number of green freight programmes (new, or enhance existing) by 2018.
  • Municipal Solid Waste initiative: support 50 cities to develop and implement quantifiable plans of action to reduce SLCP from the waste sector by 2020.

The delegates also highlighted the importance of action in reducing methane from oil and gas, with the private sector engaging in measuring key sources of methane in their operations. They explored ways to scale up action, through multilateral development banks such as the World Bank and the European Investment Bank, philanthropists, and the CCAC as a global multi-stakeholder partnership that facilitates peer-to-peer exchange and catalyses actions to reduce SLCP.

Eminent scientists provided the rationale for action, highlighting the multiple benefits that SLCP action provides: slowing the near-term warming expected by 2050 by as much as 0.6˚C, reducing disruption of rainfall patterns and slowing the melting of glaciers, avoiding over 50 million tonnes of crop losses and saving 3 million lives from indoor and outdoor air pollution.

Nobel Laureate and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Champion of the Earth, Professor Mario Molina, emphasized the complementarity of SLCP action with action on CO2. Professor Ramanathan, a member of the CCAC Scientific Advisory Panel, noted the role that SLCP play in bending the curve - providing a 50 per cent probability to keep temperature down.

UNEP's Deputy Executive Director, Ibrahim Thiaw said 'SLCP reduction is an example for the integrated approach taken in the 2030 Development Agenda.'

Ministers emphasized the importance of National Action Plans and addressing SLCP across sectors for sustainable development and economic growth. Four countries included SLCP in their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs): China and USA mentioning F-gases, Chile and Mexico mentioning black carbon.

Key areas for action mentioned include the impacts on forests due to use of wood for cooking and heating, the burning of agricultural residues that spur wildfires; enteric fermentation and manure management; avoiding organics in landfills and management of solid waste; and addressing H-gases.

The delegates also highlighted that SLCP action provides an opportunity to address air quality and climate change at the same time. In this respect, it is key to integrate climate concerns into air quality policies and legislation and vice versa. Kenya presented the East African 50 parts per million fuel standard, and the Minister of transport of Chile reported on new fuel and vehicle standards and labelling, action on green freight and intermodal transport.

Action on the sub-national level was represented by the Government of California, presenting their commitment to reduce black carbon emissions by 50 per cent and methane and hydrofluorocarbons emissions by 40 per cent.

Furthermore, FIA Foundation committed to support new CCAC work on light duty vehicles and two wheelers and Veolia encouraged CCAC to address Food Waste as part of the work under the Municipal Solid Waste Initiative.

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