Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Six Initiatives from the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Term Climate Pollutants

On April 24, six initiatives aimed at accelerating and scaling-up action against the short-lived pollutants were approved by the Ministers meeting in Stockholm. Here are excerpts of UNEP’s press release from the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Term Climate Pollutants meeting in Stockholm:
Assessment and Go-Ahead for Scaled-up Initiatives 

The meeting assessed around a dozen initiatives proposed by developed and developing countries for fast and federated action on short lived climate pollutants including many happening already at the national level. Delegates took forward five to be approved for rapid implementation by ministers on the final day.

Those given the green light include:

1. Fast action on diesel emissions including from heavy duty vehicles and engines Studies show that reductions are possible by addressing emissions from the freight transportation supply chain, through city action plans, and adoption of a range of measures for reducing sulphur in fuels and vehicle emissions

2. Upgrading old inefficient brick kilns which are a significant source of black carbon emissions Mexico has for example [20,000] small and medium-sized brick kilns and the design of many of the [6,000] in Bangladesh hark back to the 1900s.

3. Accelerating the reduction of methane emissions from landfills World-wide the waste management sector contributes about 11% of global methane emissions, and the coalition will work with cities to reduce methane emissions from landfills by improving strategic municipal solid waste planning and providing technical assistance.

4. Speeding up cuts in methane and other emissions from the oil and gas industry Natural gas venting and leakage from the oil and gas industry accounts for over one fifth of global man-made emissions of methane: Flaring at oil installations generate both methane and black carbon emissions. An estimated one third of leaks and venting can be cut using existing technologies at low cost.

5. Accelerating alternatives to HFCs HFCs are being rapidly introduced as replacements to chemicals that can damage the ozone layer—the Earth’s protective shield that filters out hazardous ultra violet light.  The Coalition aims to fast track more environmentally-friendly and cost effective alternatives and technologies to avoid HFC growth.

6. Additional initiatives – including a proposal by Ghana on agricultural/forest open burning and a proposal by Bangladesh on cookstoves – would be further developed over the coming weeks.
Trust Fund Established To support the Coalition’s Efforts

A new Trust Fund managed by a UNEP-hosted secretariat was agreed today. Initial financing pledges for the Coalition now amount to some $16.7 million with significantly more funds expected over the coming 12 months. Science 

Advisory Panel

Sound science has underpinned the formation of the Coalition and will guide its work into the future. Ministers today asked three luminaries involved in short lived climate pollutant work to advise them on the formation of a dedicated world-class Science Advisory Panel to provide scientific advice to the Coalition. The advice will be provided by Drew Shindell of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Mario Molina, the distinguished Mexican chemist and 1995 Nobel Prize co-winner and Veerabhadran Ramanathan, chair of the UNEP Atmospheric Brown Cloud project based at the University of California San Diego.

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